Meta announced that shipments of the Meta 2 augmented reality developer kits have begun. Welcome to the age of augmented reality. Meta 2 AR glasses are about to land in the hands of developers around the world, and there’s no telling what these devs will create.
Meta’s second generation AR glasses are arguably the first compelling, consumer-accessible AR device. Tom's Hardware's Rexly Peñaflorida II was “astounded” by the experience when he tried Meta 2 AR glasses at GDC. He also said that Meta “is a step or two ahead of Microsoft in terms of development.”
Microsoft’s Hololens is in a somewhat different league, as it features a self-contained computer system inside the unit, but the Hololens doesn’t offer the same level of user experience. The Hololens dev kit provides a small window of AR that doesn’t come close to filling your field of view. Meta’s Meta 2 AR Glasses offer a much larger augmented screen area. The Meta 2 headset has a 2560x1440 resolution image, with a 90-degree field of view. The Meta 2 isn’t a self-contained device, though; it requires a computer.
Like Microsoft’s Hololens headset, Meta 2 includes an inside-out tracking system and hand-tracking technology. The headset features a 720p front-facing camera, sensors to capture depth and hand movement, and a 6-axis IMU to track orientation. It also includes a nine-foot tether cable to allow you to move around somewhat.
Meta began accepting preorders from the general public for the Meta 2 AR glasses in March. You might think that the first people to order the kit would be the first people to receive theirs, but Meta is taking a calculated approach to its hardware release. Meta is shipping the first kits to “select individual and enterprise developers who will be working closely with Meta to explore the exciting capabilities of the Meta 2 Development Kit.”
Meta 2 Developer Kits include a Unity-based software developer kit to help developers get started. The Meta 2 glasses also support several Windows-based applications.
Meta is currently selling the Meta 2 Developer Kits for $949, but that price is about to change. The company said that the price is going up next year.
|Meta 2 AR Developer Kit|
|Display||2560 x 1440 resolution, 90-degree FoV|
|Camera||720p front-facing camera|
|Sensors||6-axis IMU, array for hand interactions and positional tracking|
|Audio||Four speaker near-ear audio|
|Connectivity||9-foot cable for video, data, and power (HDMI 1.4b or DisplayPort)|
|Weight||420g without the cable and head straps|
|Application Support||- Microsoft Office|
|- Adobe Creative Suite|
|System Requirements||- Intel Iris Pro / Nvidia GT 650M / AMD Radeon HD7970|
|(recommend Nvidia GTX 960 / AMD 280 equivalent or greater)|
|- Intel i7-3610MQ equivalent or greater|
|- 8 GB RAM|
|- HDMI 1.4 video output|
|- 1x USB 3.0 ports|
|- Windows 8.1 or newer|
|- 64 bit Unity 5+ on Windows (for development, not end users)|