Skip to main content

Magic Leap offers another peek at its mysterious AR tech via new demo video

Magic Leap first stepped into the spotlight last year when a team of investors led by Google injected more than half a billion dollars into the mixed-reality startup.

The Florida-based company, well known for keeping its cards close to its chest, has for some time been talking up the ideas it has for transforming the world of augmented and virtual reality. In fact, CEO and founder Rony Abovitz last year dismissed the two platforms as “old terms,” opting to describe Magic Leap’s technology as “cinematic reality.”

In his latest appearance – at the WSJD tech bash in Laguna Beach, California on Tuesday – Abovitz continued to tease tech fans about what the company has up its sleeve, describing its hardware as a self-contained computer that’s small and light enough to wear comfortably while walking about, though presumably it doesn’t resemble Google Glass.

According to Engadget, the CEO said the design of the hardware is such that you won’t mind wearing it out in public, though we guess the consumer will be the judge of that. As for what kind of experience to expect, check out the video above, which Abovitz says was shot entirely with its hardware with no post-production effects added.

The short clip starts with a diminutive robot hovering under a desk before hiding behind one of its legs. After that comes a moving model of the solar system, with the “sun” reflecting off the top of a desk. Both segments suggest the gear can make sense of its physical surroundings and blend the images accordingly.

The CEO said that while the video doesn’t entirely represent the experience you’ll have with Magic Leap’s platform, it is nevertheless “pretty close.” A more elaborate take on its tech was offered in another video posted earlier in the year, though that one was full of special effects.

Magic Leap is initially aiming to make an impact in gaming and entertainment with its forthcoming platform. Earlier this year, sci-fi author Neal Stephenson, hired as the company’s “chief futurist,” said the time was right to offer gamers a new medium. The writer described a platform “in which three-dimensionality is a reality and not just an illusion laboriously cooked up by your brain, and in which it’s possible to get up off the couch and move not only around your living room, but wherever on the face of the Earth the story might take you.”

Shipping soon?

On the subject of when consumers might actually have a chance to get their hands on this somewhat mysterious piece of kit, Abovitz would only say the company is moving into a former Motorola factory in Florida to manufacture the device, and is gearing up to ship “millions” of units. Asked about a timescale, the CEO said, “We’re not announcing when we’re shipping, but we’re not far.”

With Magic Leap over the last 12 months promising much but at the same time revealing relatively little, and with companies such as Microsoft in the meantime showing off similar-sounding gear like HoloLens, patient tech fans are keener than ever to see exactly what the Florida-based startup has been bashing together in its secretive workshop. Hopefully we’ll know more soon.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Magical new AR demo transforms 2D photos into ‘Harry Potter’-style 3D animations
ar figures walk off backdrop screen shot 2018 12 24 at 17 21 49

Photo Wake-Up: 3D Character Animation from a Single Photo

Imagine if you were able to point your smartphone, tablet or augmented reality (AR) headset at a still image, and watch it come to life before your very eyes. This is something that’s possible using the latest augmented reality technology, such as Apple’s ARKit or Google’s ARCore. However, while we have seen it done before, typically it has been limited to just one or two select images -- for instance, as a tool for animating advertising billboards.

Read more
Seedling for Magic Leap is the most expensive plant you’ll ever take care of
seedling magic leap experience screen feat

Seedling by Insomniac Games for Magic Leap One | BTS Film

Taking care of a plant is a great introduction into learning how capable you are of caring for a living thing. But rather than starting with a real plant, why not start with a virtual one? With Seedling on the Magic Leap One, you can nurture your very own artificial life form whether you're at home or work.

Read more
This $4,000 titanium beauty is the ultimate square G-Shock
The G-Shock MRG-B5000B.

Do you want the very best Casio offers in manufacturing, design, and technology from your new G-Shock, all wrapped up in that highly recognizable square case? In other words, the ultimate version of a truly classic G-Shock watch? If so, the new MRG-B5000B is exactly the model you will want, provided cost is no object. We’ve been wearing it.
What makes MR-G so special?
Although Casio is best known for tough watches that won’t break the bank, Casio also has decades of watchmaking experience, and it showcases its talents most effectively in its highly exclusive MR-G family of watches. These models, its most luxurious, are assembled by hand on Casio’s Premium Production Line located in the Yamagata factory in Japan, where only the company’s most experienced, specially certified technicians work on the top MT-G and MR-G models.

The square G-Shock is one of the most popular models, having been around since the G-Shock brand first started in the early 1980s, and bringing it to the luxury MR-G range is going to see a lot of people reaching for their wallets. What makes it so special? It’s the first time the classic, beloved square G-Shock has been given the MR-G treatment, with most other MR-G models over the past few years featuring an analog dial. There's a huge section of an already large fan base waiting for this.

Read more