Meron Gribetz, the CEO of MetaPro, once worked for an elite technological unit in the Israel Defense Forces after studying computer science and neuroscience at Columbia University.
Now he wants to change the way you see.
With his company's MetaPro glasses, Gribetz has created a 3D sculpting app that can interface with a 3D printer. Meta modified the original app built for Space X, the cutting edge boutique manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft, and they say the app will enable designers to "sculpt a rocket engine with your hands, attach it to a rocket, and launch it into space."
Over the course of the last year, Meta has been immersed in the development of the "augmented reality 3D glasses," which they say will combine the power of a laptop and smartphone in a set of Ray-Ban-looking frames which are attached to a small pocket computer.
Gribetz says the end is nigh for laptops, phones, and tablets, and he envisions a world where physical objects are rendered virtually, and that vision extends to virtual representations of phones, drawing programs and tabletop games which will be controlled by your hands.
And how far will the technology go? According to Gribetz, very far and very small indeed. He says within three to five years his 3D glasses will be reduced to the size of a contact lens and at some point will be small enough to be implanted inside the human brain tucked behind the optic nerve.
Inside the Meta offices, 3D printers crank out prototypes for the glasses frames as engineers piece them together for testing and fitment. Gribetz says the first wave of his product will ship to developers in February, and more than 1,500 of those beta testers will begin the work of designing apps to expand the capabilities of the platform.
"There is a parallel with the Macintosh (computer)," Gribetz said. "At its beginnings, it had the ability to paint a picture on the screen with MacPaint. Now the x, y, z of your finger is tracked and you are drawing in virtual space."
According to Gribetz, the MetaPro prototype cost something like $30,000 to build with its "fighter pilot head-mounted display technology."
The glasses now feature two 1280x720-pixel LCD displays (each with a 40 degree field of view and aligned for stereoscopic 3D), twin RGB cameras; 3D surround sound, 3D time of flight depth perception and a 9-axis integrated motion sensor unit driven by an accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass.
The MetaPro, including a pocket computer tethered by a thin wire to the glasses, will be 5 to 10 times more powerful than an iPhone and it will set you back about $3,000.
The ambitious plans for the device include an Intel i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi and it should be capable of 4 hours of battery life. Weighing in at a svelte 180 grams, the frames will support prescription lenses attached via a magnet to the frames.