Even though Magic Leap is based in Florida, the company is ironically a caricature of a silicon valley startup.
More than $2 billion investment and six years, that’s how much it took Magic Leap to produce its first commercialized product. During that time, Magic Leap has been very quiet about keeping its project secret. We could only peek into what the company was developing through patent applications and demonstration videos.
And now we have the Magic Leap one, augmented reality headsets carrying the hopes and dreams of heavyweight investors including Google and Alibaba.
First, let’s talk about the cost.
Magic Leap One is not a stand-alone product. Microsoft has already released its mixed reality headset, the Hololens, in 2016. The Magic Leap One starts at $2,295, a lot less than the $5,000 commercial suite or the $3,000 development edition Hololens.
However, it’s much more expensive than its virtual reality headset cousins the $399 Oculus Rift, and $500 HTC Vive pro, and the cost doesn’t stop here. The professional development edition costs an extra $495.
It includes additional support and replacement plan. Right now the Magic Leap One is only available to deliver in six U.S cities, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Seattle.
Ok, so you’ve decided to shell out $2,295 to get one. Here is what it can do.
The concept of the headsets is to be a wearable computer, and for this prototype, the bottom line is, it works.
Similar to its predecessors (Oculus Rift, Google glass), it will make you look futuristic and a little crazy at the same time. And it eerily resembles Johnny Depp’s character in Willy Wonka. but that’s not the point.
According to Magic Leap’s demo, the image is crisp. You can fly a virtual missile into that vase you always hated or you can take it to work and fly it into your boss’s office. However, you will be the only person sees this.
All jokes aside, the view on the Magic Leap One will be a lot smaller than its VR cousins. The display works the same way as a normal pair of glasses.
Like any smart device, the Magic Leap One depends on Apps. So far the options are limited, but more are coming according to the company.
As it is right now, you can use it as a screen to play media files, including movies and tv shows. Talk to your friends, and you will appear as an avatar. Experience an NBA game through a portal.
In term of the design, the Magic Leap one has three components: A headset, a Lightpack (the computer), and a hand controller. The headset weighs less than one pound, and Magic Leap said the Lightpack fits in your pocket.
You can control through voice, text, gestures depends on the app you are using.
Our verdict is, if you have the extra cash to spill, the Magic Leap One definitely is an entertaining device, and a cool gadget to impress your friends and make your relatives jealous at Thanksgiving. If you are a developer, this might be something you want to get into as a brand new non-saturated market.
NVIDIA® Parker SOC; 2 Denver 2.0 64-bit cores + 4 ARM Cortex A57 64-bit cores (2 A57’s and 1 Denver accessible to applications)
NVIDIA Pascal™, 256 CUDA cores; Graphics APIs: OpenGL 4.5, Vulkan, OpenGL ES 3.3+
Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Up to 3 hours of continuous use. Battery life can vary based on use cases. Power level will be sustained when connected to an AC outlet. 45-watt USB-C Power Delivery (PD) charger
Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi 802.11ac/b/g/n, USB-C
Voice (speech to text) + real-world audio (ambient)
Onboard speakers and 3.5mm jack with audio spatialization processing
LRA Haptic Device
6DoF (position and orientation)
12-LED (RGB) ring with a diffuser
Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Up to 7.5 hours of continuous use. 15-watt USB-C charger
8-bit resolution Trigger Button; Digital Bumper Button; Digital Home Button