Do you hear that cracking sound? That, my friends, is the sound of hell solidly freezing over. The flapping you hear is simply a flock of flying pigs, decorating the sky above this now frozen hellscape.
Why all this apocalyptic commotion? Mystery company Magic Leap has made an announcement. While that’s an even rare enough already, this announcement is for an actual product with an estimated shipping date. I don’t need to tell you that I’m having a strong case of the vapors as I struggle to write this article through teary eyes. As far as vaporware goes, any Magic Leap product would take first prize, until now that is. Say hello to the Magic Leap One
These mixed-reality glasses certainly look the part of futuristic concept product The HMD is sleek and definitely much more polished than the Hololens. On the front of the unit we can see several sensors which do the job of digitizing the environment. This is not a passthrough device, with two lightwave units in front of each eye, promising a very natural MR experience. This is what sets the device apart from what we’ve seen before. Your brain is presented with a light field that contains photons generated at various depths. Light fields are a bit of a holy grail when it comes to virtual visuals, since they offer the most realistic way to let you brain process imagery.
Same Story, New Book
The use cases that Magic Leap are punting aren’t anything new. This is not about entirely new AR/MR applications, but about doing it at a much higher level of fidelity. In earlier demos of their technology Magic Leap have shown off things like object occlusion and truly realistic generated images. It’s not clear how much of that is going to be in this first generation product.
Early Adopters Only
Despite looking very much like a finished product, this “creators” edition is meant for developers, just as the original Oculus developer kit was. Doubtlessly many normal folks are going to buy this version anyway in 2018, but for most people it will probably not be the best idea. What’s more relevant now is that the hardware will be in third-party hands and we’ll finally see much more of what the technology can or can’t do. After a year of VR and AR highlights, this is a great way to cap off an important year in the industry.