Meta Unveils Incredible Augmented Reality Headset at TED

by UPLOADVR • FEBRUARY 17TH, 2016

Redwood City-based Meta showed its latest AR glasses live on stage at TED in Vancouver.

The Meta 2 was demonstrated live by CEO Meron Gribetz with a person-to-person “call” showing a hand-off of a 3D model from a holographic person. Gribetz’ perspective was shown through the glasses as he reached out and took a model of a brain — a 3D hologram — from the hands of a colleague he saw projected in front of him.

“We’re all going to be throwing away our external monitors,” Gribetz said.

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Gribetz’ talk focused on the idea that “you” are the operating system. His roughly 100-person company is attempting to tap into a more natural way of interacting with information and the people around us, rather than sitting behind a computer terminal or hunched over a little rectangle of light. Instead, Gribetz sees everyone wearing tiny strips of glass in a few years.

“Living inside of Windows scares me,” he said of the current paradigm. “We’re trying to build a zero learning curve computer.”

Gribetz’ vision sounds similar to enormously well-funded Florida startup Magic Leap, which has only shown a video of its technology in action. The startups are attempting to layer digital information on top of our view of the real world, leading to entirely new ways of interacting with other people and processing information. It’s an enormously hard problem to solve though and requires huge advances in new display technologies that look good in a variety of lighting conditions, better movement tracking and lower power consumption. However, the potential for a wearable AR device you can take with you out in the real world is larger than a VR device that might be restricted to use at home.

The Meta demonstration live on stage was interspersed with videos showing footage “shot through Meta 2 technology.” The language is similar to the note at the bottom of the single public Magic Leap video, which says “shot directly through Magic Leap technology.” The disclaimers are likely there because it’s difficult to accurately depict through a traditional video what you can see when wearing an AR headset. For example, Microsoft has been criticized for the way it depicts HoloLens. The device features a limited field of view and comes at a high price, so gaming uses for the technology are likely very limited despite promotional videos showing sprawling mixed reality landscapes and games that take over entire living rooms. It’s unclear what field of view Meta 2 is capable of showing.

 

 

 

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The Digital Art Collective Blending Fashion With Augmented Reality

By 

One vision for the future of fashion. (Normals/normalfutu.re)

In the not-so-distant future, fashion models may wear nothing at all. The real couture would be the threads of code at play in devices—like Microsoft HoloLens or whatever rises from the ashes of Google Glass—worn by journalists, fashionistas, and celebrities, projecting elaborate outfits onto the models’ bodies.

At least, that’s the vision of Cedric Flazinski, co-founder of the French art collective Normals and co-developer of Apparel, a new app that designs digital clothing based on your social media data.

Once you give the app access to your Twitter feed, it uses the API to generate three shirts that represent your personality. Certain words, emojis, punctuations and sentiments guide the design. Say you tweet a lot about yourself—your digital chest might inflate. If you do a lot of mansplaning and tweet more authoritatively, the shoulders will grow. If your posts are cute and kind, your shirt might have a lot of cats and birds. Based on the number of animals on one of my shirts, my Tweets are more twee than I realized.

“It’s more of what you’d call a psyhcosocial profiling. It’s kind of related to the Jungian archetypes. It’s how you address others and relate to others, because this is the point of connection to fashion that we find online,” Flazinski said. “We’re not trying to better the world of fashion. We’re only reacting to more and more augmented reality. Big actors like Apple, Google and Microsoft are really interested in allowing everyone to see digital information in the environment.”

As those tech companies develop better augmented reality technology, Flazinski believes smartphones will be replaced by devices that could make many physical visuals obsolete. “What’s going to happen to the manufactured environment? What’s going to happen to fashion? What’s going to happen to signs we see in public if we can simply display them digitally? So this is where that project starts—as a piece of fiction—and this is where we’d like people to sort of reconsider the future of fashion.”

The craggy blobs you see in the app are a far-cry from Alexander Wang. But soon the app will be able to pull more data from Facebook and other sources, and the design will likely get more sophisticated. “Right now it’s more a theoretical piece, of course,” Flazinski said.  “But we’re ready, if we got some funding, to organize a proper fashion show around augmented reality. That would be amazing.”

A rendering of a future version of the Apparel app

If New York Fashion Week is any indication of what the future holds, then Flazinski’s vision of fashion might not be that far off. When he saw recent photos from the event one thing stood out as prominently as the fashion: Most people were watching the shows through their phones as they took pictures and videos to share on social media.

TED Ahead: Augmented and Virtual Reality Takes Off

 

  • Steve Rosenbaum  CEO, Waywire Networks; author, ‘Curate This’; Speaker: on curation and storytelling

Today – when we think of video we think of television. And when we think of computers, we think of desktops, laptops, or maybe mobile devices. But there is coming a new technology that melds video and computing into a new kind of reality. Augmented, Virtual, and beyond. It’s what comes After Television.

Last year, Chris Milk gave a TED Talk about his journey into Virtual Reality and his dream to become Evil Knievel. His talk was captivating and for many in the room, the first time that the future of VR clicked. Now he’s back – a year later – with a new TED talk. This is rare and exciting. TED’s process of choosing speakers is rigorous, and second TED talks rare and just one year later almost unheard of. But the area that Milk is working in is red hot, and his company Vrse has been collaborating to bring VR projects to New York Times readers, along with a free edition of Google Cardboard.

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Milk stretches virtual reality into a new canvas for storytelling. So what did he share with the TED programmers that convinced them that he had really new things to share? We’ll, that’s going to be one of the great questions of TED2016, which takes place Feb. 15 to 19 in Vancouver,. Will VR be the big new thing? It very well may be.

I expect amazing things from Milk, but the buzz that’s building for Meron Gribetz’s talk is almost deafening. Meron Gribetz is the founder and CEO of Meta. Meta is the first company to produce and sell augmented reality (AR) glasses with natural gestural hand recognition. Last year, the AR firm Magic Leap was slated to give a TED talk and pulled out. That never happens, leading critics to wonder if it hit a snag. But now the buzz is back, as Magic Leap has just raised another $793.5 million dollars – bringing their funding to 1.39 billion dollars.

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But, back to Meta. Gribetz is leading an effort to produce and sell augmented reality (AR) glasses with natural gestural hand recognition. Gribetz’ first encounter with AR was during his service in an elite technological unit of the Intelligence Corps within the Israeli IDF.

One of the first to get to try on Meta, Tech explorer Robert Scoble explained that he’s still under NDA until Meta premiers at TED. But that didn’t stop him from in an emotional video that he thought Meta is the most important new product since the original Macintosh.

Said Scoble: “the biggest product demonstration, demo -the most interesting that I’ve ever had in my life. The most important product since the Apple II” said Scoble. If Magic Leap is even second to what I saw today, it’s so f*cking undervalued, compared to the 1.3 billion dollars in magic leap. I can’t even explain how undervalued it is. In the next five years, we’re going to be wearing glasses instead of using computer monitors. We’re going to be wearing glasses instead using mobile phones. And this is in the next five years. It’s coming. it’s coming more quickly than I expected. But the markets that are going to come in the next five to six years are going to be absolutely stunning. We’re talking about Augmented Reality Glasses, and I have just seen a ghost. The iPhone was an improvement over a product we had seen. This is a new product category. I’m emotional because I haven’t seen a product like this since the MacIntosh. That’s been 30 years. When you are in it and wear it, and walk around, and look at the world. Your head starts exploding. This changes computing fundamentally.”

So all eyes are on Meta and it’s first public demonstration of Augmented Reality.

“There is no other future of computing other than this technology, which can display information from the real world and control objects with your fingers at low latency and high dexterity,” Gribetz told CNET. “It’s the keyboard and mouse of the future.”