Following years of teasing, Magic Leap has finally unveiled its first product and detailed more about its takes on augmented reality. The Google-backed startup has amassed massive amounts of funding, as well as content partnerships, since its 2010 founding.
Today, it introduced a developer kit called the Magic Leap One Creator Edition.
In line with rumors from earlier this year, the Magic Leap One is composed of a “Lightwear” headset attached to a circular puck (via two cords) called the “Lightpack” that contains processing and graphics. Meanwhile, a “Control” remote — similar to the Daydream Controller — allows for six degrees of freedom and movement.
The key part of Magic Leap’s technology is the “Digital Lightfield” for producing realistic images:
Our lightfield photonics generate digital light at different depths and blend seamlessly with natural light to produce lifelike digital objects that coexist in the real world. This advanced technology allows our brain to naturally process digital objects the same way we do real-world objects, making it comfortable to use for long periods of time.
In terms of field of view, a piece in Rolling Stones notes that it is larger than Microsoft’s HoloLens and equates it to “the size of a VHS tape held in front of you with your arms half extended.”
Meanwhile, the Lightwear headset features a suite of sensors and room-mapping technology that can detect “surfaces, planes and objects,” thus allowing for interactivity. Specifically, Magic Leap claims that projected lightfield objects can be almost indiscernible from real-world objects.
Our visual perception and room-mapping technology builds a digital replica of your physical environment – detecting and storing the precise location of walls, surfaces and other physical objects.
Other technology includes 360-degree “soundfield audio,” while graphics are pegged to being equal to that of a laptop computer. It’s cited as being capable of “editing an elaborate 3D model to playing a first-person shooter.”
Magic Leap also touts a spatial user interface that accepts voice, gesture, head pose, and eye tracking for an experience that is “more natural and intuitive.”
Use cases for this technology include telepresence, gaming, and advertising. On the developer front, Magic Leap’s SDK is also coming in 2018 along with the Creator Edition, other tools, and documentation for the new platform. The current pitch notes being open to web developers.
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