The mysterious Magic Leap has come under an increasing amount of criticism of late, with a December report from The Information highlighting concerns about the firm’s upcoming AR headset.
At this point, the company is yet to reveal a final design for its headset, which is being designed to superimpose digital images on the real world, much like Microsoft’s HoloLens.
But the December report alleged that Magic Leap, which is backed by some high-profile investors, including Google and Alibaba, over-hyped the capabilities of its system when promoting the technology to investors.
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Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz defended his company following the report, posting an update on the firm’s official site where he wrote that his team “will enable your digital and physical worlds to come together in a very personal, social, and magical way,” before explaining that current hardware is in the early testing phase.
This week brought more controversy, as Business Insider published a photo of what it claimed was a ‘working prototype’ of the Magic Leap hardware, which showed something far more bulky than the streamlined product the company has been promising.
But Abovitz has once again defended his firm’s progress, taking to Twitter to post a series of updates where he says the model in the pictures is not a prototype, but an “R&D test rig”.
In his tweets, Abovitz claims the device in the photo published by Business Insider was not ever intended to be a consumer product, and that the test rig in the shot is designed for collecting “room/space data”.
However, Business Insider claimed in its original report to have been provided with the photo by a source who told them the device shown in the photo is what the current Magic Leap prototype looked like in “early January”, and that there have been improvements to it since then.
At this point, it’s still all a bit of a mystery, but whether Abovitz’s defence is accurate or not, Magic Leap is gearing up for a big board meeting next week where the future of the company will be discussed.
The meeting is said to be where the company will have to prove it can reduce the size of its technology to fit in a smaller form factor, and will likely determine the future of development on the project.
Abovitz finished his Twitter defence by assuring fans that the company wouldn’t let them down:
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Let us know what you make of the whole debacle in the comments.