Magic Leap previews an advanced AR headset kit – but it’s just for developers

It’s really there, but not really

There’s big news from Magic Leap, one of the most secretive augmented reality companies out there. The company has rolled out an actual product, called the Magic Leap One, an AR headset and control system that could mark a significant step forward for augmented reality computing, gameplay and more. And while it’s probably not something most people would wear outside the house quite yet, it’s not totally ugly either.

The three-part system consists of a high-tech “Lightwear” headset with transparent lenses that can also be modified with a glasses prescription, a “Lightpack” computer module that goes on your belt and powers the headset, and small hand-held controller that the headset can “see” and allows the user to control the overall system. Magic Leap says the system will utilize 3D sound, voice control, gesture recognition, eye-tracking and head pose data.

The Magic Leap system will, of course, overlay your reality with a mix of places and creatures, but here’s the bad news: the system is headed for AR developers, and so far, no price has been disclosed. Magic Leap says the kit will go out to those lucky developers sometime in 2018; they didn’t say exactly when in 2018 though. Looks pretty slick to us, we may just have to see exactly what it takes to become an “AR developer” so we can get our mitts on one.

Makes sense, but still sucks

Remember how people were saying that Apple was deliberately slowing down the performance of old iPhones in order to push users to upgrade to the latest and greatest iPhone? Apple denied they did such a thing, but a highly detailed post by Geekbench developer John Poole indicates that Apple may be doing just that, but not for the reason they’ve been accused of. Poole say it appears a bit of code in iOS does slow down phone performance… because of the battery.

Apparently, Apple is throttling back iPhone performance as a phone’s battery ages in order to, logically, extend the operational time of the phone as battery capacity diminishes, which it does as it gets older. Pretty much all batteries do this. However, many owners of older iPhones have noticed that if they get their iPhone batteries replaced, their phones suddenly work much faster. So now the question becomes: get a new phone, or new battery? Choose wisely.

One app to run them all?

You know how the Apple App Store has a gazillion apps for the iPhone and iPad? Hardly surprising. But the app store for the Mac is quite the opposite – it’s a virtual app ghost town. So, what if all the apps in the iPhone App store worked on any Mac computer? That’s pretty much Apple’s latest plan, according to Bloomberg. Starting in 2018, developers will apparently start designing or updating apps to run on both iOS or MacOS, and work with touch… or a mouse.

The plan is codenamed “Marzipan” and will be one of the big changes Apple rolls out next year…. maybe. Apple has called such a plan a compromise in the past, but seeing how the iPad now has a very MacOS-like dock and some apps are already sort of bleeding across the desktop/mobile OS boundary, we think this could be a smart move by Apple, and maybe even a game changer. We’ll keep tabs on the Marzipan and let you know if it’s still cooking.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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