Yeah, I went through the whole "not another wearable" thing when the folks from the Meta team showed up sporting an early prototype of a device tethered to a small animal-style backpack. But one rep started namedropping some of the parties involved in the AR glasses -- names like Steve Mann. The wearables pioneer now sports a "chief scientist" designation on the company's site. And while we would have preferred to have been first on the demo list, it's hard to complain when the ones ahead of you are people like Paul Allen and Steve Wozniak. In fact, as they set up the demo in the green room behind our CES stage, one employee pulled out a small, translucent vase, measuring an inch or so tall. "Paul Allen made that one," he said, handing it to me.
For anyone who's ever spent time around a desktop 3D printer, it wasn't a particularly impressive artifact, more the sort of thing someone learning CAD might design in week two. What's impressive, of course, is how Allen designed it. The demo is really just a proof of concept for the technology, but it really drives home the connection between the real and the virtual that the device is bridging. A quick note about the hardware above, before we go any further: These being prototypes, they'll naturally look a fair bit slicker down the road than what you see. In fact, we're told that the final version of the MetaPro will look like a set of aviator glasses, with a little extra (including some wings on the side to help obscure some of the sensors. In fact, we've included a rendering of what that'll look like below.