Now Meta has raised $23 million in new funding for a similar technology.
Meta’s headset is like a pair of big sunglasses equipped with sensors and projectors. While wearing it, a “pioneer” (what Meta calls its beta users) sees a virtually constructed world and can interact with elements in it. For a great overview of this, check out VentureBeat’s take on Microsoft’s HoloLens headset we tested last week, which takes a very similar approach to augmented reality.
By contrast, some companies like Oculus Rift are building virtual (not augmented) reality headsets, which immerse a person into a fully virtual world. Virtual reality headsets usually have a screen that goes in front of a person’s eyes which is what they look at and experience instead of the real environment around them.
In 2013, Meta raised just under $200,000 in crowdfunding on Kickstarter for its first version, the Meta 1 Developer Kit. Now, more than 1,500 developers and companies have access to Meta’s SDK, including Arup, Salesforce, and SimX, according to the company.
Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures, Tim Draper, BOE Optoelectronics, and Y-Combinator partners, Garry Tan, and Alexis Ohanian led the round, with Danhua Capital, Commodore Partners, and Vegas Tech Fund also participating.
Meta was founded 2012 by Raymond Lo, Ben Sand, and Meron Gribetz, and is based in Portola Valley, California. The company participated in Y Combinator’s Summer 2013 batch.