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Meta's augmented reality glasses look ridiculous, but they're ridiculously comfortable
If virtual reality is barely getting a hold on the mainstream, augmented reality — the kind that uses glasses, not your phone — is barely on most people's mental radar. Even so, projects like Magic Leap have been massively hyped in the tech community, while Microsoft's HoloLens can support experiences that seemed impossible a few years ago. But one of the most interesting AR headsets has a lower profile: the Meta 2, which started shipping to developers late last year.Where many AR glasses produce a heads-up display style overlay, devices like the Meta and HoloLens aim to put real-looking “mixed reality” holograms into the world. The Meta 2 does this with a clear set of tradeoffs. On one hand, it's far cheaper than HoloLens: $949 compared to $3,000. On the other, its images look less convincingly real, more like a projection than a solid object. It's tethered to a computer, not self-contained. And even its creators admit it's not nearly as good at tracking the world — as you walk around, objects shudder to the point of disorientation, even if they're beautifully clear when you're still.