The glasses have an infrared camera at the top, a colour camera, and two stereo microphones. It has an Integrated Motion Unit (IMU), which uses a gyroscopes, accelerometer, and compass to know which way your head is facing.
The glasses also have a see-through display, which allow you to see more of the real world behind the projected display within the glasses.
It sounds a little wonky to explain, but that’s augmented reality for you. When you look through the glasses, it will look like there are tiny computer screens floating in front of your eyes.
They have also upped the field of view, so there’s a bigger screen where the augmented content is displayed. You need to have Windows 7 or 8 in order to use the Meta1 glasses, but future devices will come with what the company calls a “pocket PC.”
The glasses are kind of bulky — way bulkier than the ones I tried out back in June, which was a prototype of the Pro glasses the company will be shipping next year. But it will be interesting to see what kind of apps developers start making for the device.
In fact, developers are already thinking of ways to use the glasses, and the glasses ship with three apps that were made in-house.
When signing up to get a dev kit, developers were required to give Meta and idea for the app they wanted to build. “And over 500 companies bought it for one app, basically,” Meta CEO Meron Gribetz told Business Insider. “They bought to look at a hologram, like in ‘Iron Man,’ and to collaboratively grab it and be able to pass it to each other.”
But each of the companies has a different rationale for it, he says. For example, an architecture firm wants to show one of its buildings on a table, so when they’re showing to a client, they can really get in there and show off the structure.
Another company, called SimX, wants to show a hologram of a body for medical simulations.
Other uses they found people want these glasses for: holographic screens overlayed on the real world, and “remote assistance” so you can send a 3D map of your environment to another user and they can observe what you’re looking at in a holographic format. It’s like virtually putting yourself in another person’s shoes.
“Unlike any other platform right now, we’re actually building open-source apps, giving them to the developers, and saying, OK now extend this for any use you need,” Gribetz says.
You can see an example of the medical use from SimX below:
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