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Meta is adding another dimension to its augmented reality experiences by incorporating haptic feedback. To that end, it has partnered with Ultrahaptics and ZeroLight, and it will be showing off a demo of the new technology at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show industry event next week.
“The vision behind Meta is to deliver a machine that acts as an extension of the body, allowing us to intuitively create, communicate and collaborate in a natural way,” said Meta’s head of developer relations David Oh in a press release. “We are working closely with our partners using the Meta 2 Development Kit to deliver such experiences through augmented reality today, while defining what the future of computing will look like in the years to come.”
The CES demo will feature an AR Pagani Huayra Roadster, a sleek luxury automobile that costs $2.4 million. Unless you own one of the 100 vehicles ever made, it’s unlikely you’ve had a chance to touch it, much less take it for a spin. Meta’s AR version of the hypercar recreates the vibrations of the engine, and event-goers will be able to break it down to examine separate parts. It draws on ZeroLight’s expertise for configuring 3D cars and uses Ultrahaptics’s ultrasound technology, which is focused on making AR and VR experiences more immersive.
Market advisor Digi-Capital estimates that the VR/AR market will reach $108 billion by 2021. Right now, mobile AR has a lead with Apple’s ARKit jostling with Google’s ARCore to be the “largest AR platform in the world.” But that doesn’t mean AR headsets are necessarily being left in the dust.
In 2016, Meta raised $50 million in a second round of funding and unveiled its Meta 2 AR headset. And competitor Magic Leap revealed its new AR goggles last month and has so far raised $1.9 billion in funding. The Magic Leap One is a “creator edition” of the headset that’s slated to roll out in early 2018 to developers along with software development kits.