Magic Leap, the augmented reality startup founded in 2011 that first turned heads when it received a $500 million investment from Google three years ago, has finally unveiled a mixed reality headset named the Magic Leap One.
The hype surrounding Magic Leap and its secretive project went into overdrive starting March 2015, when the company released a concept video on its vision for augmented reality. Will the Magic Leap One live up to expectations?
Magic Leap One Creator Edition Unveiled
Six years since it was formed and after raising $1.9 billion in funding, Magic Leap has unveiled its first product named the Magic Leap One Creator Edition.
The Magic Leap One is a system that utilizes augmented reality, not virtual reality. In virtual reality, users are immersed in an entirely different world, but in augmented reality, digital components are integrated into the real world.
The Magic Leap One is made up of three components, namely the glasses known as Lightwear, the external computer known as Lightpack, plus a handheld controller. Magic Leap claimed that the augmented reality system will accept various kinds of input, including voice commands, gestures, and eye tracking.
The Lightwear goggles will come in two sizes, with customers to be offered the option for customized padding for the forehead, temple, and nose. There are also plans to include prescription lenses into the goggles. The Lightpack computer, meanwhile, is said to carry the same power as an Alienware gaming PC or a MacBook Pro but can be clipped to the user's belt.
Magic Leap invited Rolling Stone's Glixel to try out some demonstrations of the Magic Leap One. The activities included visiting a science-fiction world that replaced real-world props with digital creations, creating and using objects such as television screens, and interacting with a virtual person.
The Magic Leap One Creator Edition is said to be shipping sometime next year, with an SDK to be released first in early 2018.
Magic Leap One: Is That It?
The announcement of the Magic Leap One is a breakthrough for the mysterious startup, but some fans of augmented reality and the company's investors might not have been impressed.
Among the important details that are still missing for the Magic Leap One include its exact release date. Magic Leap is adamant that the augmented reality system will launch within next year, but people who have been following the startup know that the SDK coming early 2018 was supposed to ship in 2015.
There is no price mentioned for the Magic Leap One, and perhaps most importantly, the company only offered limited looks at the system. There were no videos featuring the Magic Leap One in action, despite Glixel taking the technology out for a spin.
Magic Leap is definitely working on something exciting, but until the startup reveals a closer look at the Magic Leap One, we're definitely not yet sold on the technology.