The Magic Leap One, the long-awaited augmented reality headset, is finally available with a starting price of $2,295, though it remains to be seen whether the device will live up to its massive hype.
Magic Leap made a lot of heads turn a few years ago with amazing videos that showed glimpses into the augmented reality technology that it was working on. Will the Magic Leap One headset deliver the promised experience?
Magic Leap One Creator Edition Now Available
The Magic Leap One Creator Edition is being sold for $2,295, which is more expensive than any other virtual reality headset. The Microsoft HoloLens, to which it is often being compared to, is more expensive at $3,000 though.
Customers who decide to purchase the AR headset may opt to pay an extra $495 to upgrade to the Professional Development Edition. This includes an extra hub cable and access to the RapidReplace service that can provide a replacement device within 24 hours.
The Magic Leap One Creator Edition will only be available in the United States at first, and with limited availability. Only customers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle may order the device, because purchasing the AR headset will include in-person delivery from Magic Leap and setup of the accompanying developer-focused hardware. The hand-delivery is partly to determine which of the device's two sizes is most appropriate for customers.
What Does The Magic Leap One Offer?
The Magic Leap One Creator Edition comes with AR glasses, called the Lightwear; a wearable computer, called the Lightpack; and a handheld controller. Magic Leap says the technology is a "spatial computing system," which unlike virtual reality that blocks out the real world, layers virtual images on top of the wearer's environment.
The AR headset system comes with software such as the Helio web browser, the Social Suite toolkit for creating avatars and shared spaces, and the Create painting tool. Magic Leap will also offer the Creator Portal, a hub for developers where they can access a few additional tools, including creative software named Magic Kit.
The Verge previewed the Magic Leap One before it was released, and described it as "an ambitious and well-built piece of hardware that's still held back by technical limitations." Its 50-degree diagonal field of view is larger than the Microsoft HoloLens, but is still limited, with some issues related to tracking and transparency.
The experience that the Magic Leap One offers is nowhere near what was seen in the concept videos from a few years back. However, this is just the beginning of the development of augmented reality technology, so there is still a lot of room for improvement.