Meta Pro augmented reality glasses unveiled

Augmented reality startup Meta has announced that the latest version of its smartglasses will be available to consumers for the first time next year.

Resembling a pair of futuristic aviator sunglasses, the $3,000 (£1,830) Meta Pro glasses are already available for pre-order from Meta's site and will be ready to ship in June 2014.

Originally dubbed as the "Glass killer", the device in fact shares very little in terms of features with its more famous counterpart.

Earlier this year the company hired the original inventor of digital eyeglasses Dr Steve Mann as its head scientist. Most famous for creating the skull-grafted Eyetap Digital Eye Glass in 1999, Mann has driven development of Meta's wearable tech device towards something remarkably different to Google Glass.

The Meta Pro display boasts 3D capabilities, a 40 degree field of view and is 15 times larger than Google Glass. It is also able to recognize hand gestures so users are able to control certain functions without having to touch the side of their face.

Other features include twin cameras, a 9-axis inertial measurement unit, Zeiss lenses with transparent displays and access to over 500 Meta applications.

Meta initially aimed the wearable tech towards the business crowd -highlighting its functionality for presentations in its Kickstarter campaign, for example - but developers have since been building apps that allow people to interact in many different ways with a virtual world within a physical environment.

Many of the apps developed are geared towards gaming, drawing inevitable comparisons with the augmented reality headset Oculus Rift.

It is not sure when the Oculus Rift will be available to consumers, but last week the startup secured £46 million in funding to help make this a reality.

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