Magic Leap Partners With NBA, Announces Cheapest Headset Model To Cost As Much As High-End Smartphone


There's a lot of new information about Magic Leap, the mysterious and long-gestating mixed reality company that aims to revolutionize the augmented and virtual reality landscape.

CEO Rony Abovitz took the stage at Recode's Code Media conference on Feb. 13 and offered a lot of new details about the highly kept-under-wraps yet much-anticipated headset, Magic Leap One.

Magic Leap And NBA Partnership

First, the company has entered a partnership with NBA to introduce a "new kind of human-computer interactivity," which apparently involves a lightweight wearable computer that "enriches real-world experiences with digital content." Abovitz doesn't like to call it AR, proposing instead that it's actually "spatial computing."

Part of the partnership is a new NBA app that'll be available exclusively through the Magic Leap One platform, which will let users bring up multiple virtual screens into their field of view. These screens can display statistics, replays, and even commentary — all while the user is tuned to the game.

Magic Leap One Headset Sizes

Second, the company has seemingly confirmed that there will be multiple sizes available for its headset, including a "Magic Leap Large" variant that fits the head of Shaquille O'Neal. No information about the other sizes, though.

Magic Leap One Pricing

Magic Leap is planning to release multiple editions of its headset for different levels of consumers and professionals, and the cheapest headset will cost as much as a "higher-end mobile phone to a higher-end tablet." That puts it around $650 and up, perhaps slightly lower. However, Abovitz didn't bat his eyes at the mention of whether the headset will cost as much as a $1,000 iPhone X.

"I think we're trying to establish certain tiers — we're not going to be a single-product company over time," said Abovitz at the Code Media conference.

The creator edition of Magic Leap One is positioned somewhere in the middle of Magic Leap's overall price range.

"We'll have even higher-end [versions] for hyper-pro, and then we'll have wide mass-market" editions, according to Abovitz.

Magic Leap One Release Date

Magic Leap has been showing off its headset to a bunch of users, but there's been no detailed reviews about the headset since they're all under nondisclosure agreements, save for a highly interesting preview Pitchfork released in December 2017. The creator edition of Magic Leap One, however, is slated for a 2018 release — provided no delays occur.

You can watch the whole interview below:

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