Meta's exciting AR dream is over as startup shuts down

Another big name from the AR world exits the building
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Meta, a startup that most recently launched its second generation augmented reality headset, is shutting down due to a patent infringement lawsuit and a recent asset liquidation that left the outfit insolvent.

The folks at Next Reality have been closely following the most recent events with Meta and have the lowdown on the startup's demise. It appears to stem from September last year when Meta failed to secure $20 million of funding from investors forcing the startup to remove the majority of its staff.

On top of the failure to raise more funds, Meta also faced a patent infringement from Genedics, LLC that claimed Meta had infringed on patents relating to, "user interface methods for image manipulation and user input in a three-dimensional space where projectors display images and sensors identify user input."

Next Reality managed to obtain a letter relating to the lawsuit that confirmed that Meta had sold all of its assets to a third party and was now insolvent.

While Meta's website is still live, there's few mentions of its Meta 2 headset or the option to buy one. The second generation AR headset offered an industry leading 90 degree field of view that was three times bigger than original Meta headset. It also boasted a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution display and enabled users to 'touch' and interact with virtual objects using a 720p front facing camera and an array of sensors for positional tracking.

After accepting pre-orders in the first half of 2016, Meta started shipping the new headset by December 2016 and was available to buy from its website in 2018.

Sadly though this looks to be the end for a startup that sold us and many others its exciting vision for augmented reality now and for the future. We'll remember the great chats we had with Meta and that TED Talk that gave us a glimpse of a world where holograms become part of everyday life. That holographic world is one that Meta will now no longer be part of.

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Michael Sawh

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Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.


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