Magic Leap – what is it? What inspired Google to invest $542 million and Mountain View to drop a half a billion dollars on Magic Leap? CEO Rony Abovitz recently revealed a few minor details.
Reddit asked Abovitz how he would describe Magic Leap to a person on the street who had never heard of Magic Leap. He responded that it was techno-biology, the “future of computing and is the proper application of technology to our biology that leads to the experience of magic.” Well thank you, Willy Wonka, for that tantalizing description. What is it?
Magic Leap is a wearable, a headset to be exact, and it puts digital images into the real world. This description makes it sound similar to Microsoft’s HoloLens. However, Abovitz has also said the company’s vision for both AR and VR will honestly replicate visual reality. It can also operate as virtual reality, and entirely block the outside world.
The company’s Magic Leap technology is referred to as “cinematic reality” over AR or VR. Standard AR and VR use a technique that tricks your brain into believing an object is three-dimensional. It works by showing one eye a different image and angle than the other eye. This is how the Oculus Rift and Samsung’s Gear VR headsets operate.
Abovitz has said that he believes this technology can cause neurological deficits. Magic Leap uses a Lilliputian projector shining light into the user’s eyes. The brain cannot tell the difference between the light from the projector or real world light, therefore, you are able to see life-like digital images that react as they would in the real world.
Google may be the company’s highest-profile investor, however, other investors include Legendary Entertainment and Interstellar. It is possible this product can be used in film. The company is creating games for the Magic Leap. It has the support of Graeme Devine, a game developer who has worked for Lucasfilm and Apple. He also collaborates with Weta Workshop.
Magic Leap has also hired speculative-fiction novelist Neal Stephenson to make sites to attract developers and creators as well as make and build on relationships with those already living the future Magic Leap wants to build.
The trademark applications that were filed in 2014 mentioned graphic novel covers or a special comic book. Abovitz has revealed that the company is also creating applications for productivity, social mapping, communication and creation. He will also provide access to tools for developers and an emulator. Magic Leap, what is it?
Magic Leap is expected to be used more than any mobile device. So, preparations are being made now. The headset will be able to view in 2D, so the user will be able to view readable content such as e-books without causing eyestrain.
As far as specs are concerned, there may be two working prototypes; a pair of glasses linked to towering metal scaffolding, and eye-wear hooked to hardware on a cart. The team is having some design issues making these prototypes smaller for consumer use. The smallest prototype is a projector smaller than a single grain of rice built into a black wire.
It is unknown what the components are inside the device. When Abovitz was asked what sensors the headset would be using, he responded cryptically as usual. “We are working on propriety tech and solutions here.” He is also working on minimizing power usage. Magic Leap does have a target release date, but what is it?
Opinion By Jeanette Smith