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Magic Leap Finally Unveils a Mixed Reality Headset

21 December 2017

Magic Leap, the Plantation-based startup that has raised more than $2 billion in financing and now employs thousands in South Florida, introduced its first product on Wednesday.

The Magic Leap One is a developer headset that consists of some still impressively slim goggles that attach to a Sony diskman size power pack via a cord and can be controlled with an oversized Apple TV remote type handheld.

In terms of the possibilities of the Magic Leap One, it looks like it has somewhat similar AR features as Microsoft HoloLens and ARKit: digital graphics seamlessly merged with the real world, as you move around.

The One comes in the form of a lightweight headset, along with a wearable computer and wireless controller.

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What we know now about the Magic Leap One is that it is an AR headset that is much smaller and more streamlined than the existing competition.

Pricing and availability specifics for the headset weren't shared. Since then, Magic Leap has been in the news many times for the incredible amount of funding it secured from a variety of high-profile investors.

Magic Leap's AR technology, which places digital images alongside real life, is expected to have applications in gaming, entertainment, communications and web browsing. Whether it's virtual displays sitting alongside the computer monitor on your desk or a virtual panda that climbs across your living room couch, visual perception with machine learning unlocks the power of spatial computing. The goggles have four microphones and six cameras to orient themselves in three-dimensional space, and use analog "lightfield photonics" to simulate how humans see objects in the real world.

Magic Leap content ranges from games to music experiences to Oculus Connect-like digital collaborations so far, and these are being billed as "just a jumping-off point" for creators. The large investments in Magic Leap's infrastructure before the company even announced a product left the world questioning what it could possibly be brewing behind closed doors. Recently, music website Pitchfork (?) and Rolling Stone (!?) tried out the device in its fun-sized, headset incarnation, and have verified that it works.

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Magic Leap's Lightwear device is a far cry from the bulky, face-hugging platforms that have become popular in VR, instead using wraparound steampunk-style goggles.

While Magic Leap has slated a release of the Magic Leap One for sometime next year, the company remains relatively cagey about access to the product.

There's no word on exactly when you'll be able to buy the Magic Leap One, or indeed how much it will cost (but it will be pricey). Similarly, Business Insider, The Verge, Engadget, CNBC and others wrote about the website, citing the alleged features.

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Magic Leap Finally Unveils a Mixed Reality Headset