In the hills of Portola Valley, California, is the headquarters for Meta, a company that’s trying to change the future and also, perhaps, the world.
They’re hoping to accomplish this feat by creating a pair of augmented-reality glasses that bring to life technology that seems to be taken straight out of the “Iron Man” movies.
Physical objects are rendered virtually, and those objects — be it a game or a document or even a keyboard — are all manipulated by your hands.
A team of fewer than 50 people lives on a 20-acre rented estate overlooking the wilderness above Silicon Valley.
It’s something out of a movie, with a pool, a tennis court, and even pictures of Tony Stark of “Iron Man” fame adorning the walls.
The team lives together on the estate, putting in 14-hour days, and then eating together and afterwards washing dishes together. All for the common goal of bringing to life a pair of glasses that can completely change the way we think of computing.
Portola Valley is a little bit west of Stanford University, which is about 30 miles south of San Francisco. The house is located about 15 minutes off the freeway, up a windy road.
Next door is the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation, which oversees one of the largest collections of historical military vehicles in the world.
There's a second gate that leads to the house, letting you know you're about to enter Meta's campus.
The house looks like a typical Silicon Valley mansion. Around 40 people work here. Their living quarters are in a different house on the estate.
The person who built the house was a descendant of one of the people who worked on the Golden Gate Bridge. Here's a bolt from the bridge, embedded in the concrete.
All under the watchful gaze of Tony Stark from the 'Iron Man' films. This isn't the only picture of Stark in the house, either.
Living in a house in the country is actually saving the company money: It's cheaper to rent this gorgeous house than it would be to rent a small office in San Francisco.
One of the things you can do with the glasses: build something using your hands in the virtual world, and send it to this 3-D printer to bring it into the real world.
Meta CEO Meron Gribetz holds a prototype of the Meta 1 glasses. The Meta 1 is being sent to developers along with an SDK, so they can check out the glasses and offer feedback. And write programs for it.
This is the Meta Pro, which will be shipped out later this year. The Meta Pro resembles a pair of Ray-Bans.
Meta allowed me to demo the glasses. It took me a minute to get the hang of touching or typing on things that aren't actually there. The Meta glasses could effectively replace your laptop, phone, iPad, and any other device you use on a day to day basis.
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