Billion Dollar Startup Reveals First Gen Product
About Magic Leap
Magic Leap remains a mystery. Originally founded in 2011, not much is known about the company other than they successfully raised over $1.9 billion investments from several high profile investors, such as Google and Alibaba. This super secretive startup only released a few concept videos to date.
For the first time, Magic Leap has released the first generation photo of their Magic Leap One AR headset. The exact specifications are still unknown, but it seems like the company is preparing an official release of their headset next year.
Hands-on User Review
Brian Crescent from Rolling Stones was invited to visit the Magic Leap headquarter for an exclusive tour, plus hands-on experience with the device called Lightwear.
My first experience with Magic Leap’s technology in action occurred in a sort of sound stage, inside a building separated from the rest of the complex. This is where the company tests out experiences …… ..under non-disclosure agreements – a chance to see the magic in action.
This first, oversized demo dropped me into a science-fiction world, playing out an entire scene that was, in this one case, augmented with powerful, hidden fans, building-shaking speakers and an array of computer-controlled, colorful lighting. It was a powerful experience, demonstrating how a theme park could potentially craft rides with no walls or waits. …To see those creations appearing not on the physical world around me, as if it were some sort of animated sticker, but in it, was startling.
The demo also gave Crecente a chance to try several demos.
My first was a visit with Gimble, a floating robot that hovered in the mid-field between my eyes and a distant wall. I walked up to it, around it, viewed it from different angles – and it remained silently hovering in my view. The world around it still existed, but I couldn’t see through it. It was as if it had substance, volume – not at all a flat image.
I was surprised to find that the closer I got to the robot, to an extent, the more detailed it became. Getting close to the floating object didn’t expose pixels; it highlighted details I wasn’t able to see from afar. If I got too close, though, it sort of disappeared, or else I was suddenly inside the thing: artifacts, I was told, of a demo that hasn’t yet been polished. I also noticed that the sounds of the whirring robot shifted around as I moved around it, always placing the noise where it should be no matter where I stood.
Crecente was presented with screens similar to a computer monitor. The screens looked like flat television screens that can be placed anywhere, even duplicating an array of monitors to simulate a multi-monitor setup. You can watch different channels on each of the monitor, and it will continue to play regardless if Crecente was watching it.
Magic Leap team showed him a quick demo of volumetric capture, which a live performance was captured using special equipment. Then the actor was imported into the system, essentially putting live performance in any room the viewer happens to be standing.
Goggles are connected wirelessly to a powerful pocket sized computer call the Lightpack, capable to project digital objects into the person’s field of view.
The headband utilize a crow temple design, which originated from their study on even weight distribution around the head. To put on the goggle, a person would holds one side of the plastic crown on their hands and pulls apart, and slides the head in like a headband. Two cables from the back of the headband merge into one, before slinking several feet into the system’s Lightpack. The Lightpack can be clipped onto the pocket or strapped onto the shoulder like a guitar strap.
The controller is made out of plastic that features an array of buttons, 6 degrees of freedom motion sensing, touchpad, and haptic feedback. The Lightpack and Lightwear goggles are extremely light.
By the time of launch, the company will also take prescription detail to custom build into the lenses for those who wear glasses.
“There is another powerful computer in here, which is a real-time computer that’s sensing the world and does computer vision processing and has machine learning capability so it can constantly be aware of the world outside of you,”
Early next year, the company plans to open up a creator portal and provide access to its software development kit.