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Google Glass is still in the beta phase, and it costs $1,500 to grab yourself a pair provided you also managed to grab yourself an invite. There are those who shelled out the $1,500 for Google’s glasses and found out the hard way that while Glass is a neat concept, it doesn’t yet do anything worth $1,500 or even $200. Those who aren’t too familiar with the device but have heard of it often think Glass is a pair of augmented reality glasses, when instead, they’re actually just a pair of glasses with what is essentially a tiny smartphone screen over your eyebrow. Again, neat concept, but ultimately unsatisfying. For those left wishing for a true pair of augmented reality glasses, wearable computing company Meta is developing a set.
At twice the price of Glass’ current cost, Meta Pro — if it works well — would perhaps be less of a blow to the wallet considering the futuristic return. Whereas Glass is simply a tiny screen above the frames that you have to look at, the Meta Pro displays imagery on the actual transparent lens 720p displays, and you can manipulating that imagery with the hands in front of your face.
Currently, the glasses can track a user’s hands in any orientation — and almost without any latency — so you can interact with the augmented reality display. Whereas Glass needs to be tethered to a smartphone if WiFi isn’t available, Meta Pro needs to be tethered to a pocket computer — and a powerful one at that. It’ll be tethered to a 1.5GHz Core i5 computer with 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and will have Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11n WiFi capability. A true AR display is much more difficult to run than some (fairly simple) Glass apps, so the computer is understandable.
For now, we won’t know exactly how well the glasses work, but we can take solace in the fact that at least one company is working on a way to give Terminators their famous red-tinted HUD. Meta is projected to ship its $667 dev unit sometime in March, with the $3,000 final version following suit in June.