On the tail end of this year’s GDC, Meta will be hosting their very first 24-hour AR hackathon centered around their Meta 1 Developer Kit, a crowdfunded augmented reality headset that is now shipping out to backers. The event comes after the company recently raised a $23 million Series A investment.
Meta will be holding their hackathon on March 6th at Wix Lounge, a space just a few blocks away from GDC’s event center in San Francisco, where teams will be developing augmented reality apps with Meta’s SDK and loaner Meta 1 Developer Kit AR headsets. Meta employees will be on hand to answer questions and troubleshoot any eventual problem encountered during the Hackathon.
Pre-hackathon cocktails start at 6:30 PM, but the contending 3-4 person teams should probably go light on the sauce, because only 24 hours later they’ll be presenting their app to Meta CEO Meron Gribetz and CPO Soren Harner for a chance to win a Meta 1 Developer Kit. Three teams will be chosen to receive a host of prizes including:
- Meta 1 see-through AR glasses and Meta SDK software ($667 value)
- 1 Year Unity Pro license ($1,500 value)
- Bundled Unity packages Vectrosity, Coherent UI, Highlighting System ($180 value)
Developers completely unfamiliar with Meta’s dev kit can also attend an instructional webinar on March 4th, focused on the Meta SDK, how to build AR apps, and how to make AR UIs.
The company’s $667 stereoscopic 3D dev kit combines a depth camera, an RGB camera, IMU, a microphone and 3D stereo sound to create a see-through AR experience that is replete with 360 degree headtracking as well as handtracking, the primary control mechanism for the device.
And if all this talk about Microsoft’s newly unveiled HoloLens has you worried for the future of the crowdfunded AR company, you better not speak too soon. Meta has recently secured a $23 million Series A investment to produce their AR headsets. According to the Wall Street Journal, the capital will be used “to hire more hardware and software engineers and nurture a developer community to create applications designed to run atop the headsets. The funding will also help bankroll roadshows, hackathons and developer workshops.”
In addition to the Hackathon, developers interested in creating apps for Meta 1 can attend the upcoming workshops in both London and New York for more information about the SDK and a chance to get their hands on the device itself.