Magic Leap CEO: Leaked Prototype Device ‘Not What You Think It Is’


A leaked photo of the purported Magic Leap prototype device surfaced recently, showing AR startup Magic Leap's expectedly rough rig of a revolutionary device it promised a while back.

Taking to Twitter, Rony Abovitz, the company's CEO, has denied the accuracy of the leaked photo, or at least clarified that the photo "is NOT what you think it is." (emphasis Abovitz's.) He claims that the device depicted in the photo isn't the company's forthcoming AR glasses.

Magic Leap Prototype Leak

The prototype, named "PEQ0," emerged with an underlying pretext that the company was "scrambling" to show off the technology to a board, as per Business Insider's report. The device, an unsurprisingly bulky and makeshift kludge — how prototypes usually look — was strapped on a man's back, and was tethered to a pair of goggles, though the headgear was barely visible.

Upon release of the photo, the startup swiftly received heated media coverage with a palpable hint of skepticism, a particular response rooted on the apparent lack of anything concrete from Google-backed Magic Leap since dropping a much-hyped reveal trailer.

The upset also springs from the disparity between what Magic Leap has promised — a sleek, mixed-reality-enabling device — and the leaked prototype photo. The company has yet to showcase something out of its labs publicly. Until the leaked photo, the only real indication of development was a series of patent illustrations.

Magic Leap CEO Defends Prototype Leak

As per Abovitz's series of tweets clarifying the leaks, the reason the prototype looks so different from the ideal product is that what we saw isn't actually the company's AR wearable at all.

"The photo shows [a Magic Leap] R&D test rig where we collect room/space data for our machine vision/machine learning work," he posted. "We do this in order to understand lighting, texture, various surfaces."

Magic Leap has lately been the target of skepticism from the press. A report from The Information had claimed that the technology Magic Leap had promise was far from ready, with the hardware believed to be too ill-suited to be a wearable. It raised questions about the ability of Magic Leap to deliver its promise, which were further hurt when two former employees relayed that Magic Leap's demo reel was not filmed by an AR device, but created by a special effects company, Weta Workshop.

Abovitz concluded his series of tweets by reassuring those closely following Magic Leap and its forthcoming device.

"We will not let you down."

There's no word yet on when a public Magic Leap demonstration will occur.

Magic Leap, as with other startups banking on the proverbial Silicon Valley promise, has acquired staggering funding figures. The company has raised $1.4 billion funding under its belt, Slashgear reports, even gaining keen attention from key companies and figures, among them Google and Qualcomm, on top of popular science fiction writer Neal Stephenson.

When do you think will Magic finally unveil its hotly anticipated device in public? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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