When you hear the term “augmented reality” most people think about Pokémon Go, but the truth is that augmented reality can be much cooler than catching Pikachu, and it has a lot more uses. It also doesn’t have to be limited to your phone screen. Having raised nearly $2 billion in funding, the secretive company Magic Leap has been working on an augmented reality device for years, and today we finally get to see the fruits of their efforts.
The company unveiled the “creator edition” of the Magic Leap One, its first augmented reality system. This system consists of a pair of AR goggles paired with a small external computer called a Lightpack and a handheld controller. Those goggles look pretty cool. Definitely more stylish and steampunk than your typical boxxy VR goggles. The Magic Leap One will support multiple input modes like voice, gesture, eye tracking, and head pose. It can also map objects onto the environment. So any virtual object that you place somewhere stays there when you return later. It also has a sophisticated audio system which can simulate the precise location of virtual objects in the environment.
Word is that the small form factor of those goggles does not compromise performance at all, as many had feared. The processing power of the device is said to be comparable to a MacBook Pro or an Alienware gaming PC with a dedicated graphics card. The goggles connect to a separate computer for things like world detection and machine learning. It also has four built-in microphones and six external cameras.
The goggles will come in two different sizes with customers having the option to choose things like custom nose, forehead, and temple pads. We even hear that the company is working on having prescription lenses built into the goggles for those who need them. The Lightpack can clip on a belt or shoulder pad.
It’s hard to not be impressed by what they have accomplished here if these claims are true. The device will ship next year at an unknown date, for an unknown price.