Ex-Qualcomm exec leads Meta AR rebirth - Mobile World Live

Ex-Qualcomm exec leads Meta AR rebirth

29 MAY 2019

A startup now headed by a former Qualcomm executive is to breathe new life into augmented reality (AR) technology developed by defunct headset maker Meta Company, just five months after the latter abruptly closed its doors.

In a press release, Meta View announced it acquired Meta Company’s IP assets, used to build its Meta 2 headset and wide field-of-view (FOV) display system; and said it was charting a new course with former Qualcomm AR executive Jay Wright at the helm.

Wright led development of Qualcomm’s Vuforia AR platform for handheld devices and headsets from 2008 to 2015, and continued to serve as Vuforia president after the unit was sold to PTC in 2015.

In a statement, Wright said the “potential for spatial computing is intoxicating”, and, without providing specifics, hinted at plans to pursue a “different approach” and “build a new company, a new product”.

Meta View is backed by Olive Tree Ventures and BNSG Capital. Olive Tree bought the Meta Company assets and formed Meta View.

Manor Zemer, partner at Olive Tree Ventures, said Wright brings “a deep understanding of AR applications, technologies, and barriers to adoption and is uniquely positioned to take his expertise and apply it to developing a product that marries both technology capabilities and market need”.

Before suddenly closing its doors in January 2019 after a potential investor pulled out, Meta Company was a significant player in the AR segment, with its Meta 2 headset competing against the likes of Magic Leap and Microsoft’s HoloLens.

It is unclear how the technology will be used under Wright’s watch. The new company said it will support owners of Meta 2 devices, but will not offer the Meta 2 for sale.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana joins Mobile World Live as its new US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana comes to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and...

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