January 20, 2018

Meet The Magic Leap One AR Headset

21 December 2017, 01:09 | Denise Dawson

The Magic Leap One headset known as"Lightwear" was debuted on Wednesday December 20. The final product may look different than this. Magic Leap

Magic Leap One

Magic Leap formally announced the headset today, calling it "Magic Leap One, Creator Edition", which will ship in 2018 if everything goes to plan.

Magic Leap has been around for many years, but it's just now revealing its first product. The smart glasses-or Lightwear-will give users access to what Magic Leap calls "mixed reality"-digital graphics seeming to exist in the real world".

The One comes in the form of a lightweight headset, along with a wearable computer and wireless controller. The Magic Leap One "Creator's Edition" consists of three pieces of hardware. The company hasn't released detailed specifics of their functions, but the frame around the lenses features eight sensors on the front of the Magic Leap One headset, which provide spatial tracking (provided by Dacuda's 3D scanning technology), hand tracking, and object awareness.

Magic Leap's AR technology, which places digital images alongside real life, is expected to have applications in gaming, entertainment, communications and web browsing. "Here are some of the experiences we've been exploring, but they are just a jumping-off point", according to the company's site. The information about the One uses some confusing wording about it, explaining that it generates "digital light" (ouch) at "different depths" that blends with "natural light".

Magic Leap has not revealed the specifications of the tethered computing device, and we don't know enough about it even to speculate. The technology is created to interact with "multiple input modes including voice, gesture, head pose and eye tracking".

Microsoft Holo Lens  Magic Leap One
Left Microsoft Holo Lens | Right Magic Leap One Microsoft Magic Leap

"Our thought was, if we could figure out this signal and or approximate it, maybe it would be really cool to encode that into a wafer", he told Rolling Stone.

Clearly, the "ecosystem" is still very much a work in progress, although a RollingStone tester had great praise for the "powerful", "startling" and extremely realistic experiences available for pre-release demos. "That was the key idea". It looks pretty simple at first glance, but Magic Leap says it allows for "six degrees of freedom", haptic feedback, and fast responsiveness.

Magic Leap's hardware appears to be geared for software makers.

There's still a lot of mystery to Magic Leap.

For years, Magic Leap has raised astronomical rounds of funding from the likes of Google and Alibaba, Fidelity and JP Morgan. The Florida-based firm has been known to be working on mixed-reality technology of some sort - the kind of thing that prompts all who try it to trip over themselves trying to find ways of describing it - but that's about it. Similarly, Business Insider, The Verge, Engadget, CNBC and others wrote about the website, citing the alleged features.

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