Magic Leap finally reveals its secretive augmented reality headset

Magic Leap

After years of rumours and speculation, Magic Leap has finally revealed what the company is calling the ‘creator edition’ of the company’s new augmented reality platform, the Magic Leap One.

The Magic Leap One is a pair of large, somewhat cyberpunk-looking goggles and a small, puck-shaped external computer called a Lightpack, as well as a wand-like controller.

magic leap lightpack

According to Magic Leap, the device is capable of “multiple input modes including voice, gesture, head pose and eye tracking.” The company continues by stating that users will be able to “place a virtual TV on the wall over your fireplace and when you return later, the TV will be right where you left it.”

Demos discussed in a recent Rolling Stone story include virtual characters reacting to eye contact, a floating virtual comic book, and a virtual live performance that utilizes a volumetric capture camera. Magic Leap is set to offer its new goggles in two sizes, with the option to add custom forehead, nose and temple pads. The company also has plans to build prescription lenses into specific models. This leads me to believe that it may be difficult to wear the Magic Leap One with glasses on, which could be an issue for some.

The Lightpack circle powers the headset, and can be attached to a belt or shoulder pad. According to the Rolling Stone’s story, the device’s power is similar to that of a MacBook Pro or an Alienware gaming PC — there’s a big different between those two devices when it comes to hardware power, though.

Another lower-powered computer sits within the goggles that handles world detection and the One’s machine learning capabilities. The Magic Leap One also contains four built-in microphones and six external cameras, along with built-in speakers.

In general, Magic Leap’s One goggles sound like a slightly more advanced version of Microsoft’s HoloLens. It will be interesting to see how the device’s initial development kit stacks up against Microsoft’s offering, given the HoloLens has been on the market for a number of years now.

A number of questions still remain unanswered about the goggles, including a price range. Magic Leap has raised $1.9 billion in funding over the last six years from various  investors, including Google, Alibaba, and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. Unlike many tech companies, Magic Leap is based in Florida and not California.

The headset will reportedly ship in early 2018, according to Magic Leap.

Source: Rolling Stone, Magic Leap