Magic Leap has been promising to deliver an advanced augmented reality system for years, and now the company is finally giving us a look at the Magic Leap One headset, along with a promise that it’ll ship a “Creator Edition” of the headset for developers in 2018.

The company has raised nearly $2 billion from investors so far, but Magic Leap has been fairly secretive about its hardware… until now.

There still aren’t a lot of technical details about the Magic Leap One system, but Rolling Stone has a write-up of what it’s like to actually use the Magic Leap One.

Here’s what we know: it includes a pair of glasses with a semi-transparent display, a whole bunch of cameras and sensors, and a wireless motion controller with a built-in touch surface.

The system also includes a “Lightpack” computer that you can clip to a belt or pants pocket. By offloading the processing power to the Lightpack, Magic Leap has made a headset that looks like it’d be a lot more comfortable to wear than most existing virtual reality headsets.

Oh, and if you’re wondering how you’d wear this headset over a normal pair of glasses, you wouldn’t. Magic Leap plans to develop a version that works with prescription lenses, so the headset would replace your glasses when you’re wearing them.

If the Magic Leap one delivers on its promise, it’ll allow you to see virtual objects superimposed on real-life settings in a realistic way. It’s the sort of technology we’re starting to see on phones, but instead of popping Star Wars and Stranger Things characters onto your phone’s 5.5 inch display, Magic Leap One will put them in your normal field of view, allowing you to interact with them almost as if they were really in the same room.

Thanks to room mapping technology, objects will also stay where they’re placed, allowing you to decorate your room with virtual items and return to them later.

Magic Leap says the headset also includes a “soundfield audio” system that provides a 3D-like experience that goes beyond stereo sound by conveying distance and other details through subtle changes in the sound.

There’s still no word on how much the Magic Leap One Creators Edition will cost, but Magic Leap says it’ll begin offering a software development kit in “early 2018,” with the headsets set to ship to developers sometime in 2018. It’s not clear at this point when the company plans to ship a consumer version of the augmented reality system.

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11 replies on “Magic Leap’s augmented reality glasses coming in 2018”

  1. This looks like garbage. Google Glass(es) looked much better but Google couldn’t pull it off. Who’s going to wear this hideous thing on their face?

  2. What’s the use case for this (I’m obviously not an AR/VR visionary)? It talks about rooms so I guess outdoor use isn’t a target which is good since I still don’t think people are ready for another Google Glass in public. An obvious, to me, use case would be similar to VR’s current main usage: games. Although, I’m not sure how fun a game would be if it’s something that makes use of my boring home. Just with VR, I guess there’re potential commercial/industrial/workplace use cases.

    Are the prescription lenses interchangeable or are glasses only meant to be used by 1 person?

  3. > Magic Leap One will put them in your normal field of view

    Unfortunately the AR display FOV is only about the size of a VHS tape at half arm distance according to the article. Better than HoloLens, but far from really immersive.

    1. This, I don’t understand how they expect to get general adoption with such a narrow FOV. It’s like looking at AR through a tiny window

  4. Yeah, I am going to wait on VR, AR, electric cars, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, machine learning, bitcoin, face scanning cellphones and voice activated smart speakers.
    My favorite 2017 quote is…
    “The innovation the industry talks about so much is bull$hit,” he said. “Anybody can innovate. Don’t do this big ‘think different’… screw that. It’s meaningless. Ninety-nine per cent of it is get the work done.”

    1. I’ve been enjoying VR for the last, holy crap, is it two years now? I gotta say, it’s pretty great, and I use it every week. Electric cars seem here to stay, and AI/machine learning already affects your life in profound ways. I’ve also made quite a bit of money on cryptocurrency this year.

      My point is that many of your examples have left the cutting edge and are solidly mainstream at this point. Sure, there are still some marketing wonks who will have you believe in some crazy magic, but a lot of it is well established. Look at the “Internet of things”. Lots of big promises, from the last couple years, and a lot of them have come to pass, for better or worse.

      1. God bless you early adopters! I sincerely wish you the best. I look forward to using and owning all the technologies on the list (that was the purpose of writing the list)… after you have paid for the development costs.

        1. I’ll admit to being an early adopter to VR, but on the rest, my point is that we seem to be reaching the “general appeal” stage. Take Bitcoin, for example. I’m a pretty recent adopter of just a few months. But in that time, I’ve seen the price go from $4k to $19k, and there’s even a “traditional” futures market now. On VR, again, it’s two years now and we have the first few AAA game releases. If that isn’t evidence of “work done”, well, could you clarify on your standard on the separation between hype and establishment?

        2. If there weren’t any early adopters, parasites like yourself wouldn’t be able to enjoy 90% of the stuff that comes out.

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