Remember the helmet that Tony Stark uses in the Iron Man? The one with a holographic interface letting you anchor various menus to certain surfaces, sticking a virtual screen on a desk, attaching a note to a wallet or even playing a virtual game in the physical world? This helmet has now become a reality thanks to Meta, a digital startup founded by Israeli-born former Columbia University student Meron Gribetz. Meta’s Space Glasses are the most innovative augmented reality headset that supports cool stuff like 3D visualizations, facial recognition, virtual gaming, laser tagging, voxel editor and more. And yes, Gribetz’s initial idea was to create a version of Google Glass that won’t make you look stupid.
“We want to make it look like a pair of Ray Bans,” says Gribetz. “It looks exactly like what you’re wearing anyway. Is this a shirt or a digital shirt? Who knows.” (Wired.Com)
While Google Glass seems like a virtual post-it note in front of your face, Space Glasses boast to be an entire PC replacement able to abstract all of the major computer and tablet functions and add more cool features on top of this. This wearable computer is developed on Unity 3D platform and is joined with gesture tracking software allowing you to interact with virtual objects.
It means you can have apps spread around your home (on your walls, doors, cupboards, fridge, etc) that you can use as real-world anchors and spatial navigators for your real-life gadgets and services. Navigating apps this way can free your brain up for other interesting things. Compared to capabilities of Space Glasses, Google Glass seems like a Bluetooth headset popping out notifications about your environment (e.g., map, Wikipedia article, social account).
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Space Glasses, in their turn, enable the Holy Grail of Augmented Reality (AR) – the surface tracking based on the most advanced computer vision research and allowing tracking the white paper or blank walls that has always been the most difficult computer vision problem to solve.
To allow unsurpassed augmented reality experiences to Space Glasses users, Meta cooperates with Pr. Steve Mann, the father of wearable computing, and Pr. Steve Feiner, a pioneer of 3d user interface and AR technology.
Software development companies will also have a good chance to pioneer augmented experiences and implement holographic AR interfaces like the ones shown in the Iron Man or Avatar by using Meta SDK with the following features:
- Unity 3D surface tracking for markers, features and featureless surfaces,
- Unity 3D hand tracking including gestures, skeleton and hand meshes,
- RGB feed and depth map for custom computer vision work, etc.
Just fancy what kind of apps and games can be developed with Unity 3D SDK for Meta!
And yes, Space Glasses already have a price tag attached – it can be ordered now for $667. At the same time, Google is yet to finalize its Glass price for the mass market, while providing its limited edition devices for $1,500. Do you want to pay a double price for a device with far more scarce features?
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Social behavior experts say Space Glasses are more likely to see greater acceptance on the mass market than Google Glass that has already sparked a huge debate as an “awkward, creepy, and de-humanizing harbinger of Orwellian mass surveillance”.
And do you think Space Glasses will eventually kill the Google’s project?
Sources: Wired.Com, SpaceGlasses.com