Meta has remained relatively silent about the future of their hardware after raising a $23 million Series A early last year. But today at TED 2016 the company showed what they’ve been doing with the cash—crafting what appears to be a vastly improved next-generation AR headset.

On stage at TED 2016, Meta CEO Meron Gribetz literally unveiled the Meta 2 AR glasses from beneath a red sheet. Looking quite bulky, and similar to Microsoft’s HoloLens, Gribetz demoed the AR headset live to the audience while promoting a vision of a world free of computer monitors.

“Today’s computers are so amazing that we fail to notice how terrible they really are,” said Gribetz. “The future of computers is not locked inside screens. It is right here, inside of us… You are the OS, you live between windows.”

He showed a number of demos including a ‘holographic’ video call which projected another person into his vision who was even able to hand him an augmented reality model of a brain.

meta 2 ted Meron Gribetz (2)
Gribetz holds an AR model of what appears to be a concept render of a consumer version of the Meta glasses.

The Meta 2 looks to be a huge improvement over the original Meta 1, which left much to be desired in field of view and performance across the board.

A wide field of view demands form-factor tradeoffs; the Meta 1 was actually a bit sleeker than what we’ve seen of the Meta 2.

Tech evangelist Robert Scoble, who screencapped some photos of Gribetz on stage (which we borrowed for this story), said Gribetz received a standing ovation after the demonstration. Scoble was one of several influential figures in the tech space to gush about the Meta 2 in a new video from the company last week:

Elsewhere Scoble said the Meta 2 field of view is “much bigger” than HoloLens (one of that product’s frequent critiques).

Meta as a company recently undertook a major rebranding, moving away from the high tech approach (the company often referred to their headset as ‘Space Glasses’) and now into a more consumer friendly angle (now calling it ‘Meta Vision’) with organic cursive logo and large bold serif fonts.

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Curiously, this apparently-consumer focused branding doesn’t jive with what Scoble says, which is that the device is most likely to first hit the enterprise sector this year, while consumer adoption more likely “isn’t going to be real for most of us for three to six years. Maybe longer.”

The company has a countdown timer on their site (“The revolution begins in…”) which points to March 2nd, when it seems the company will reveal more details about their new augmented reality headset.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • realtrisk

    Just imagining AR gaming where you must run through your own house and defend against zombies trying to break through your windows is enough to make me pants-wettingly excited for AR in a completely separate way from VR.

    • JeanClaude

      Agreed, both will be very incredible, but I’d argue that AR will be more useful, while VR will be more entertaining.

      Just compare a board-game to a video-game. Given VR with a 360 degree of infinite motion device, you can literally do anything you want.

      AR on the other hand seems like it would have so much usefulness in enterprise and communication. Imagine putting AR on, and seeing your family or coworkers in your own home, even though they are miles away.

      • realtrisk

        Yes. AR seems like a great replacement for the monitor, the concept of having all your windows open all around you actually makes productivity easier, especially for those of us who have many windows open. Unfortunately, Hololens’ puny FOV kinda ruins that, but I hope others will make better ones more up to the task.

  • HM420

    VR is just exciting me extremly – but the imagination what more AR can do or will be able to create is totally amazin´.
    As another commentator just mentioned, i hope i haven´t wait to long to be able to use AN AR device by myself :)

  • Awesome! so excited for AR and VR. I just can’t wait for the day where I can wear swimming like goggles with the same capability.