After $1.9 billion and seven years, secretive Magic Leap teases Lightwear AR headset

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Virtual and augmented reality company Magic Leap has taken the lid off the project that is has been working on for the last seven years, and has debuted the Magic Leap One Lightwear goggles and required wearable computer, with the set to ship at some point in 2018.




The first iteration of the Magic Leap One suite, the company is calling the "creator edition." It will include the Lightwear goggles, a "Lightpack" wearable computer, and a controller. the company claims that the device will respond to "multiple input modes" including head position, eye tracking, voice controls, and gestures from the user.

Magic Leap is promising basically the same that every other virtual and augmented reality headwear company has offered. Brian Crecente, from Rolling Stone's Glixel was invited to try some demonstrations of the technology, and was shown a virtual television on the wall, and persistent objects in an environment that automatically return when the headset is put back on.

Crecente experienced a few set-pieces, but was limited by a non-disclosure regarding specific intellectual properties or exact executions. However, he did spend some time with a virtual human.

"One day, this human construct will be your Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, OK Google," wrote Crecente. "She won't just be a disembodied voice, she will walk with you, look to you, deliver AI-powered, embodied assistance."




Magic Leap has given very little information on technical specifics, saying that they wanted to hold something back for an official reveal. Allegedly, the belt-worn device is close to the power of a a MacBook Pro or Alienware gaming PC and has discrete graphics. It is not clear what, if any, external interactions that the Lightpack will have with other computers, or may need.

There is no current pricing on the Magic Leap One. The company claims that a SDK will be available for the Magic Leap One in early 2018 -- but it previously promised one in 2015 that never materialized.

Magic Leap was founded by Rony Abovitz in 2010. By 2014, it had raised more than $540 million of venture funding, with follow-up rounds pushing that number up to $1.9 billion by the end of 2017.

Not that much news has emerged about the company in its seven years of operation. In 2015, the company released footage said to be filmed through some sort of Magic Leap device. It announced a partnership with Disney's Lucasfilm in 2016, and has a joint research lab in San Francisco.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    Holy cow. SOMETHING finally gets a release date from these guys. Having said that, I think the first model will be a flop. This tech is still too big and intrusive. May be another 5-6 years off from something small and light enough for inconspicuous use.
    tmayrepressthis
  • Reply 2 of 29
    Any lead Magic Leap may have had has been seriously eroded over time.   Even if they do come out with a product next year (and that is a BIG IF) their platform would take years to gain traction in the market.  At best they should hope to be a takeover target....
    randominternetpersonleavingthebiggrepressthis
  • Reply 3 of 29
    I’ve never seen it but The article mentions eye tracking.  That’s not at all common in HMDs.  I’ve never seen it done well in any case.

    so that would be different if this article is correct.
    indieshack
  • Reply 4 of 29
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    serendip said:
    I’ve never seen it but The article mentions eye tracking.  That’s not at all common in HMDs.  I’ve never seen it done well in any case.

    so that would be different if this article is correct.
    Considering the company says that they have it in the Magic Leap One set, I'd say that this article is correct based on that, yes.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 5 of 29
    serendip said:
    I’ve never seen it but The article mentions eye tracking.  That’s not at all common in HMDs.  I’ve never seen it done well in any case.

    so that would be different if this article is correct.
    Considering the company says that they have it in the Magic Leap One set, I'd say that this article is correct based on that, yes.
    I'm not sure what this response means, but I agree with the original poster, eye tracking is not common in HMDs
  • Reply 6 of 29
    After reading the linked Rolling Stone article coverage, it’s clear this still has a long way to go. This is really about getting early adopters and developers onboard. A consumer-friendly unit is still (as I mentioned earlier) 5-6 years off.
  • Reply 7 of 29
    Looks hideous.
  • Reply 8 of 29
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,108member
    serendip said:
    I’ve never seen it but The article mentions eye tracking.  That’s not at all common in HMDs.  I’ve never seen it done well in any case.

    so that would be different if this article is correct.
    Apple bought "SensoMotoric Instruments" about 6 months back or so. So Apple is looking to control the tech in that direction as well.
  • Reply 9 of 29
    Good gravy. This looks like something Mothersbaugh and Casale would cook up as wardrobe.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 10 of 29
    Cesar Battistini MazieroCesar Battistini Maziero Posts: 159unconfirmed, member
    Apple should buy them and wait to perfect the product.
  • Reply 11 of 29
    Apple should buy them and wait to perfect the product.
    Considering there are already very large stakes in Magic Leap from Alphabet/Google and other companies, that will definitely not happen.
    repressthis
  • Reply 12 of 29
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    DOA
  • Reply 13 of 29
    Holy cow. SOMETHING finally gets a release date from these guys. Having said that, I think the first model will be a flop. This tech is still too big and intrusive. May be another 5-6 years off from something small and light enough for inconspicuous use.
    Wrong. There would be many applications in the interim, such as in the area of training, both in a classroom setting and out in real environments. And what about aviation? When you're alone or with a copilot in the cockpit, there's no reason to feel self-conscious wearing these. For that matter, truckers and equipment operators would also benefit. There's no need for skepticism at this point.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    Holy cow. SOMETHING finally gets a release date from these guys. Having said that, I think the first model will be a flop. This tech is still too big and intrusive. May be another 5-6 years off from something small and light enough for inconspicuous use.
    Wrong. There would be many applications in the interim, such as in the area of training, both in a classroom setting and out in real environments. And what about aviation? When you're alone or with a copilot in the cockpit, there's no reason to feel self-conscious wearing these. For that matter, truckers and equipment operators would also benefit. There's no need for skepticism at this point.
    It would take years to get approvals to get these in cockpits and this would be overkill in that environment.  What does a pilot need to help her fly a plane?  She doesn't need a virtual human-looking sidekick responding to voice commands.  I expect that, just like with the iPad, adoption by pilots will trail rather than lead consumer adoption.
    SpamSandwichtmay
  • Reply 15 of 29
    I'm confused, is Appleinsider promoting motorcycle goggles now? /s
    SpamSandwichviclauyyc
  • Reply 16 of 29
    My kind of Borg. Perfectly willing to wear something like this as part of an entertainment center. Or maybe more - after a while, a trial.
  • Reply 17 of 29
    Holy cow. SOMETHING finally gets a release date from these guys. Having said that, I think the first model will be a flop. This tech is still too big and intrusive. May be another 5-6 years off from something small and light enough for inconspicuous use.
    Wrong. There would be many applications in the interim, such as in the area of training, both in a classroom setting and out in real environments. And what about aviation? When you're alone or with a copilot in the cockpit, there's no reason to feel self-conscious wearing these. For that matter, truckers and equipment operators would also benefit. There's no need for skepticism at this point.
    How can a theory be “wrong” until it’s tested and proven wrong or right?

     There’s no product and no price at this point. My very early guess is this will sell to developers in the $3,000-$5,000 range. It’s possible the first models could be subsidized to spur adoption.

    And the issue of how long the battery will last is also unanswered at this point.

    You really should read more before making too many more assumptions.
    edited December 2017 tmay
  • Reply 18 of 29
    "She won't just be a disembodied voice, she will walk with you, look to you, deliver AI-powered, embodied assistance."

    Atari tried that in Cybermorph, but it's hard to endure being told "Avoid the ground" dozens of times. 
  • Reply 19 of 29
    Holy cow. SOMETHING finally gets a release date from these guys. Having said that, I think the first model will be a flop. This tech is still too big and intrusive. May be another 5-6 years off from something small and light enough for inconspicuous use.
    Wrong. There would be many applications in the interim, such as in the area of training, both in a classroom setting and out in real environments. And what about aviation? When you're alone or with a copilot in the cockpit, there's no reason to feel self-conscious wearing these. For that matter, truckers and equipment operators would also benefit. There's no need for skepticism at this point.
    It would take years to get approvals to get these in cockpits and this would be overkill in that environment.  What does a pilot need to help her fly a plane?  She doesn't need a virtual human-looking sidekick responding to voice commands.  I expect that, just like with the iPad, adoption by pilots will trail rather than lead consumer adoption.
    Um, why do you think AR is just about virtual sidekick? Pretty sure seeing the relevant controls and status of the aircraft overlaid on reality would be pretty helpful. It would be a more adaptable version of a HUD. 


  • Reply 20 of 29
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,141member
    If VR follows every other form of graphic systems ranging from photography to video it will only truly take off when the porn industry put their money behind it.


    jSnivelyking editor the grateviclauyyc
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