- Meta CEO Meron Gribetz presented the company’s augmented reality technology at TED 2016 and wowed the crowd
- The company’s new product is being fully unveiled in two weeks and is being compared to Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap‘s yet-to-be-revealed headset
- While the technology may be similar, it has been developed at a “fraction of the cost” while having similar capabilities, one investor explained
- While HoloLens is backed by tech giant Microsoft and Magic Leap has raised over $1 billion in funding, Meta has only raised $23 million in Series A funding. Before that, it was financed primarily by seed funding from Y Combinator and dollars raised through a Kickstarter campaign
- Meta’s CEO promised that, by next year, the company’s employees will get rid of their computer monitors and work exclusively with the company’s headsets
From the article at Forbes:
There’s a new entrant in the augmented reality race.
On Wednesday, Meron Gribetz, founder of CEO of Meta, wowed the audience at the TED conference in Vancouver, Canada, with a demo of the company’s Meta 2 headset. It seem clear from the demo that Microsoft’s HoloLens and secretive startup Magic Leap have another rival to worry about.
Judging augmented reality technology without actually trying it on is a challenge. But Gribetz’s demo of a headset tethered to a computer had many of the dazzling hijinks that we’ve come to associate with AR — the real-looking holographic image that can be turned, picked apart and manipulated in midair; the virtual computer monitors that can replace physical ones; and the ability to collaborate with a colleague who appears via telepresence.
Gribetz described it as a new kind of technology interface that aims to extend our senses. Augmented reality, Gribetz said, is about “how we extend our bodies with digital devices instead of the other way around.” Meta would allow people to put a layer of digital information on top of the physical world, he said. And he promised that by next year, Meta’s employees will get rid of their computer monitors and work exclusively with the company’s headsets.Demo aside, Meta remains secretive, and will not fully unveil its product for another two weeks. As part of the buildup to its release, the company has a countdown clock on its site, as well as a video of well known techies gushing about the technology.An investor who has tried the technology — and who is also familiar with HoloLens and Magic Leap — says Meta appears to have achieved many of the capabilities of its better known rivals at a tiny fraction of the cost.Meta, which was founded in 2012, only recently raised $23 million in Series A funding. Before that, it was financed primarily by seed funding from Y Combinator and dollars raised through a Kickstarter campaign. By way of comparison, Magic Leap’s most recent financing round brought in a whopping $827 million, and Microsoft have virtually limitless resources. Meta has raised only modest funding.Based in Redwood City, Calif., Meta has grown to more than 80 people.