Meta 2 SDK Unboxing

Finally received the Meta 2 SDK  - First look at the unboxing and hardware!

The Anticipation

The Meta 2 is a augmented reality headset similar to the Microsoft Hololens. I preordered the Meta 2 SDK back in May of 2016. After some fits and starts, they finally started shipping in early October of 2017. This post is primarily going to talk about the hardware, packaging, and some initial thoughts. See follow up posts about software and experience with the devkit.

Full Image Gallery

SDK Contents

The Meta 2 SDK comes with the following: 

  • Meta 2 Headset 
  • 2x Forehead pads
  • Desktop headrest 
  • Microfiber storage bag
  • Universal input power converter (wall wart)
  • Guidelines and Warnings booklet

The Headset 

The headset contains what seems to be a LCD display of some type, a curved semireflective viewing surface, and 5 optical sensors. The optical sensors seem to consist of a mix of wide field of view optical cameras and some sort of infrared depth camera similar to a Microsoft kinect or Intel Realsense. Additionally, there are speakers in the side bands on the left and right side for audio. 

The Meta 2 seems to take the "dumb terminal" approach as opposed to the "full computer" approach of the Hololens. The headset requires a relatively beefy computer to drive the display while leveraging a GPU to project augmented reality images. This has some nice benefits, such as making upgrades easier as performance improves. It also reduces the complexity and weight of the headset as a whole. This is quite apparent when you initially plug in the device, because it attempts to show your desktop wallpaper in the display. I ended up changing my desktop wallpaper to black when testing to reduce the confusion. 

When running, there is a fan in that runs at a variable rate blowing air up a vent in the top of the headset. When wearing the headset, I began to sweat a little, due either to my excitment or the local heating. In the thermal image below, you can see the temperature rise of the headset after some nominal use in the "Meta Workspace" application.  

The headset does not seem to have a power switch (at least not one that is documented any way). There are two switches on the top of the device but due to there being no user manual, I don't know what they do. I haven't been able to discern a purpose but perhaps one could be a power switch in the future.

Cabling

The headset has a single cable that is permanently attached to the back of the headset. This cable is approximately 9ft in total length. At approximately 8ft, the cable has an overmolding that branches to an HDMI cable,  a USB 3.0, and barrel connector port for power.

This length of cable could be annoying for some computer setups but has served fine for my initial setup. 

The Wall Wart 

The power supply is a standard universal input (100-240VAC) AC/DC. Output is 12VDC at 1.67A max per the device's labeled ratings. Label has nice Meta branding. 

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