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Home / Tips and Tricks / Rise & Fall of Meta – Founder of AR Pioneer reveals Inside Story that led to sales to new owners «Next reality

Rise & Fall of Meta – Founder of AR Pioneer reveals Inside Story that led to sales to new owners «Next reality



The rise and the case of Meta, the Silicon Valley-based enhanced reality start that looked like challenging like Microsoft's HoloLens and others, only took six years.

Now, as the story of the company and its founder, Meron Gribetz, finally draws, we finally have a deeper insight into what exactly happened in the company and how, as well as what the future holds for the company's assets.

Case: Augmented Reality Check

Just days after the incessant stream of tech ephemera escaping from CES petered out in Las Vegas, Gribetz took time to talk to me about the news that Next Reality broke last week about Metas patent process, which unintentionally revealed the full extent of the company's financial problems and the ultimate fate.

Understandably tired of the long struggle to keep control of his company over the past year, however, Gribetz still retains his usual optimistic tone when he companies, and indeed, Meta assets, have all been sold to a new owner. He is no longer the owner of the company and has no statement on what could happen to the company he spent over a half-century building using raw passion, software and hardware innovation and a perspective focused on the future of computing.

There is a new home for [Meta’s] assets and it makes me happy, Gribetz says. "That means there is a potential future for them [assets] and it is up to the new management to decide what the track is and I don't know what to do."

Dream 1.0: It

In 2011, during a chilly evening in Harlem, New York, near Columbia University, where Gribetz studied computer science and neuroscience, a casual interaction with a smartphone-obsessed friend led his decision to investigate the possibility to create their own AR unit.

His then high vision was soon followed by experiments with AR interfaces, one of which is still available on YouTube (see video below). Even then, you could hear the enthusiasm in his voice when he explained how his marker-based AR interface experiments worked at that time.

Aftermath

Nine months after I visited the spacious Menlo Park headquarters in Meta, these offices are now empty. Today, Gribetz is reflective and even a little hopeful for the future, when he looks at the industry that he helped the pioneer slowly take flight in the form of competitors like Magic Leap and upstarts like Nreal.

"AR and VR are difficult. the most complicated stack in the industry. We were able to make technical achievements at a fraction of the budget that Magic Leap and Microsoft did, and I'm really proud of Meta 2, Gribetz says.

"We were the first complete AR system with hand tracking, optics and tracking in the world, these are things we had in Meta 1 2014. A lot of big players have followed our standard, and I am proud of it. We were early, surely. I think the first part of for is really a question to look back on in the future. "

Finally, after so many up and down, Gribetz has some very simple advice for others AR entrepreneurs who want to browse a path into the next phase of the calculation.

"Start with the killer app. Every founder in every company that failed took too long to get to it. And if I did it again, I would come to it in the beginning," says Gribetz. that it is the right question every founder should ask. The hardware is not enough. Find out your market. Find out your killer app. "

The story of Meta is not a story of failure, it is a parable to shoot the stars and simply run out of the runway during a most successful trip to liftoff. What Meta did to help move the AR industry will not be forgotten away and can even live on in another form under the guidance of a new owner, but what Gribetz is sure is that he still focuses on his dream of helping to get a "zero learning curve" computer that works like a kind of "iOS in the mind" to the masses, in one way or another.

"I have a very clear mission to put [an AR] headsets, just as I said at TED in 2016, on a billion heads," says Gribetz. "I didn't say which headset, I said one glass strip, light field, photorealism and, above all, an intuitive computer experience of one billion heads. The whole situation that is happening now, which is not nice in any way, will not slow me down on this mission. "

Cover image via TED / YouTube

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