Magic Leap shows off AR headset that ships in 2018


Though Magic Leap rumors pointed to a troubled development, with their technology proving hard to shrink down to a consumer product, Rolling Stone experienced "no stuttering or slowdowns" working with the new product.

Magic Leap, the relatively quiet augment reality company, has announced a new AR headset. We've been inundated with various VR and AR goggles and headsets the past year, but these promise to be a cut above the rest. Crecente writes that the demonstration dropped him into a "science-fiction world" where augmented reality was blended with the virtual reality - what is called mixed reality (MR). "And in some ways, that's one of the key innovations of the technology". Specifications for the hardware are also not available, and the company's promotional imagery is at best heavily touched up and at worse an outright render. "We're not bringing along any other operating systems".

Companies like Weta Workshop are developing mixed reality content for Magic Leap. It's about advancing toward a future in which we never truly unplug.

When you hear the term "augmented reality" most people think about Pokémon Go, but the truth is that augmented reality can be much cooler than catching Pikachu, and it has a lot more uses. Magic Leap has also provided an external computing unit called Lightpack that drives the proprietary spatial computing platform using built-in processing and graphics support. Cramming a bunch of technology into a pair of eyewear, while ensuring that the glasses are useful, easy to use, and have decent battery life - all while hoping that they'll be fashionable to boot has proved daunting. "If you're just going to kick back and and watch a movie, that's very different than chasing a robot or a dinosaur around your house or filling your whole home with fish that swim from room to room", he says.

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Magic Leap is particularly working on expanding the field of view in its glasses and determined to make it comfortable to wear. We'll have to track where the Magic Leap price lands. By contrast, failed wearable products - most notably, Google's Glass - look too nerdy, like gadgets only a geek could love.

A software development kit for Magic Leap One will launch in spring 2018, but so far the company has not given an exact release date or pricing information for its AR goggles.

Skepticism remains around Magic Leap because of the astronomical sums that the company has raised to develop its technology, and the seeming gap between what the company has promised and what they are delivering.