Though its headset is still some way from a consumer release, secretive AR company Magic Leap has been in the news quite a bit of late.
After posting a job advert for a Field Engineer last week, suggesting its mixed reality headset was entering the next stage of development, the company came under fire in a report from The Information.
Reporter Reed Albergotti became one of the few to actually try out the firm’s mysterious hardware, and was less than impressed – comparing the headset to Microsoft’s HoloLens but with blurrier digital renderings and a bulkier design.
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What’s more, the report criticised Magic Leap for releasing a video purporting to show its technology in action, but which was entirely created by independent studio Weta Workshop.
Now, Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz has posted an update on the company’s site, where he essentially defends the startup’s progress without referring to the negative press outright.
Magic Leap’s videos seemingly display some impressive technology
In the post, he writes 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.
He writes: “The units we are building now are for engineering and manufacturing verification/validation testing, early reliability/quality testing, production line speed, and a bunch of other important parameters.”
Abovitz refrains from addressing concerns about the company’s previous videos, which were criticised as misleading by The Information‘s report.
One in particular shows an office being transformed into an FPS game, with the user seemingly ducking behind physical objects to avoid being hit.
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The video was posted initially with the description “this is a game we’re playing around the office right now,” but the clip was created entirely by Weta Workshop, so whatever Magic Leap had been playing in the office couldn’t have been exactly what the video showed.
It’s on the basis of these videos, and impressive demonstrations using early prototypes, that the company has been able to rack up $1.4 billion in funding and reach a valuation of $4.5 billion.
Magic Leap has remained very quiet when it comes to details about its mixed reality headset, but we’re hoping to hear something more in-depth soon, following the recent criticism.
Microsoft has already released its AR HoloLens headset for developers and businesses, and a consumer release shouldn’t be too far off.
Whether this will prompt Magic Leap to provide anything more than the new brief update remains to be seen, but stay tuned for the latest.
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Let us know what you make of Magic Leap’s update in the comments.