Meta, the augmented reality startup that ended in January, is coming back – or at least, its technology. A new company called Meta View has purchased the assets of the old Meta, which were sold when Meta's creditor unexpectedly banned the loan. The new company is led by former Qualcomm manager Jay Wright and builds "a complete hardware and software solution for a specific use case" instead of a generalistic AR headset.
Wright was the president of Qualcomm & # 39; s software platform for augmented reality from Vuforia sold in 2015 at Pager Internet of Things. Investor Olive Tree Ventures says he has been selected to design & # 39; a product that combines both technological capability and market needs and delivers real value & # 39 ;. A spokesperson explained something and confirmed that Meta View would build on the existing display technology of Meta with a wide field of vision. Meta View continues to support the old Meta 2 headset, but no longer sells new units.
Olive Tree Ventures, the general partner Mayer Gniwisch, describes the company as "extremely bullish" about the future of augmented reality and spatial computing. "We were so convinced that we made a somewhat non-traditional VC deal to acquire the assets, start a new company and find a new CEO with a vision and focus that we believed in," said Gniwisch. The "non-traditional" deal seems to refer to the foreclosure – in January Meta CEO Meron Gribetz suggested that Meta's bank had sold the company under him.
The old Meta was one of the best known players of AR; the $ 949 Meta 2 was regularly described as a competitor of Magic Leap or Microsoft HoloLens hardware. But the Trump administration is trade war with China a large potential investor who is withdrawing and massively contracting the company, postponing the launch of new headsets and firing almost all employees. AR headsets have generally not made a leap to the regular audience; they are usually limited to industrial or academic use and a few public applications such as museum tours.
But companies can succeed within that space. Google has just made the glass headset an official product, for example. Wright has years of experience in AR in established companies, and Meta View may be in a good position to find a sustainable niche – although it may be less ambitious and down-to-earth than its predecessor.