The Magic Leap One is probably one of the most hotly anticipated pieces of technology around right now. The company producing it, Magic Leap, has received over a billion dollars worth of investment from the likes of Google and Qualcomm, and intends to produce a pair of augmented reality goggles, the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
Thanks to a recent live stream, we now know that the ‘Creator Edition’ of the headset is due to be launched in Summer 2018, and will be powered by an Nvidia Tegra X2 processor. Presumably this processor will be housed in the separate hardware unit that neatly clips into a jeans pocket.
The hardware is still pretty far from a full consumer release. The Creator Edition is intended for developers, who will use the hardware to build their own augmented reality experiences which consumers will then get their hands on when the full consumer hardware launches.
Magic Leap has previously shown off a single controller (shown below) which has a touch-sensitive thumbpad and motion sensors offering six degrees of freedom.
However, in the recent livestream the developers showed off how the headset could recognise hand gestures which could also be used to control the experience. Gestures included pinching and holding, and the headset can even identify specific points on the hand.
However, some users noted on Twitter that the headset didn’t appear advanced enough to superimpose the user’s hands over virtual opens in the world — although this could change for the final release.
Magic Leap One specs and features
Currently we know that the headset will be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra X2 process (via TechCrunch). You might recognise the Tegra name from the X1’s inclusion in the Nintendo Switch and Nvidia Shield devices.
When it launches the Magic Leap One will be the first consumer device to use the new X2, and it will be very interesting to see what the chip is capable of.
AT&T will be the exclusive carrier partner for the headset in the US, which implies we should see some kind of LTE connectivity built into the headset. Whether it will work without an internet connection remains to be seen.
Similar to Apple’s ARKit 2.0, multiple people wearing Magic Leap headsets should be able to view and interact with the same virtual objects.
Of course, the magic in Magic Leap comes from the firm’s digital light field technology.
On its website Magic Leap explains: “Our lightfield photonics generate digital light at different depths and blend seamlessly with natural light to produce lifelike digital objects that coexist in the real world.
“This advanced technology allows our brain to naturally process digital objects the same way we do real-world objects, making it comfortable to use for long periods of time.”
Meanwhile, the Visual Perception tech enables the sensors to reconstruct physical surroundings. This, for example, enables the interactive lightfield objects to appear within a real world environment.
So, as the company says, you can have a virtual display on your desk next to your computer monitor, or a panda crawling across your living room sofa.
Users will be able to fill their living space with displays all showing different content, while Magic Leap is also promising it’ll bring gaming experiences to life by bringing characters into your living room.
Magic Leap One price and release date
The ‘Creator Edition’ (essentially a developer-focussed version of the hardware) of the Magic Leap One headset is due to ship in Summer 2018. There’s still no word yet on a full consumer release, or what the headset will end up costing.
Will you be chasing a Magic Leap when the headset arrives next year? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.