What if you could augment the physical world by adding a digital layer of objects from the virtual world? What if you could dissect holograms of cars of buildings just like physical objects with your hands or check your email by touching thin air? What if all those seemingly futurist interactions and data visualizations in the movie "Minority Report" were possible?
This concept is called augmented reality (AR), and differs from virtual reality (VR), which puts a viewer into a headset to view a completely new computer-generated world. AR has been around for decades but only recently have the requisite technologies become "good enough" to allow a new generation of entrepreneurs to give it a go.
Comcast Ventures has joined new investors Lenovo and Tencent alongside existing investors Horizons Ventures in Meta’s $50M Series B. Meta is a Silicon Valley-based company pioneering the way in augmented reality and is led by Meron Gribetz, a young charismatic founder who dropped out of Columbia University to start this company. Along the way, he introduced Meta 1, a first generation AR heads up display, on the backs of a successful Kickstarter campaign and participation in the Y Combinator program.
Meta is currently in the process of deploying the Meta 2, its second-generation headset to developers worldwide. Useful for collaboration and for communication, Meta’s AR products can change the future of work for employees in industries such has architecture, engineering, healthcare, and education, amongst others.
"It is incredibly gratifying to have the support of savvy investors who understand what’s required to deliver game-changing technology and create new markets," said Meron Gribetz, CEO of Meta. "They understand that the combination of our technology with our neuroscience-based interface design approach to computing is what sets Meta apart from the pack and will lead to our long-term success."
Many pundits believe that AR will take longer to bear fruit but that its ultimate market potential is bigger than that of VR. We are excited to support the team at Meta as they continue to push the boundaries of augmented reality.
For more about Meta and augmented reality, see CEO Meron Gribetz’s TED Talk.