It’s been a staple of science fiction for decades, but now the idea of augmented reality (AR) enhancing our lives by way of hi-tech wearable glasses is finally becoming a reality for consumers. Google's Project Glass may be getting the lion's share of attention, but prototypes and new ventures abound with any number of goggle-like devices offering immersive 3D gaming through to simply capturing your everyday life for sharing online. Now a start-up called meta has joined the fray, partnering with Epson to create AR glasses that allow virtual objects to be controlled in 3D space using hand gestures.
meta was founded by Meron Gribetz in December 2012 and has been helped along by Professor Steven Feiner, an experienced developer in the field of augmented reality technology. The stated aim of the meta project is to go one step further than other augmented reality prototypes that simply offer superimposed digital readouts with limited control.
The two-part setup consists of a pair of modified see-through Epson Moverio glasses with a Kinect-like 3D camera mounted on top. The camera features low-latency motion tracking software that tracks a person's hands in 3D space so they can interact with virtual objects using hand gestures.
meta is set to throw down the proverbial gauntlet to potential developers with the imminent release of a developer kit – so it remains to be seen just exactly what kind of applications we can expect to see running on the glasses, or even when the glasses will be released. Though, in keeping with the promise of augmented reality in general, Anna Jen, Director of New Business at Epson America, says “We’re excited about the effects on productivity, media entertainment, retail, and of course, an amazing new class of games entering our real world.”
A promotional video giving an idea of the glasses' potential uses can be viewed on meta's website via the source link below.