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article imageMagic Leap unveils its augmented reality goggles

By James Walker     Dec 21, 2017 in Technology
Magic Leap has unveiled its AR goggles and said it will start shipments of the device next year. The company has spent years developing AR tech but has struggled to scale it down to fit inside a headset. Its current design includes an external computer.
One Creator Edition
Magic Leap's aiming the One Creator Edition of its goggles at early adopters and creators. The company invited Rolling Stone to experience demonstrations of its technology. According to the publication, Magic Leap has solved its performance problems and there is no stuttering in the finished device.
The augmented reality system is controlled using a handheld controller with motion technology. The goggles also have eye tracking hardware so you can gaze at virtual objects to interact with them. Voice input, gestures and posture provide alternative interaction methods, giving developers plenty of ways to engage people in their apps.
Magic Leap One Creator Edition
Magic Leap One Creator Edition
© Magic Leap, Inc.
The device's power comes from an external computer called the Lightpack. Magic Leap hasn't detailed its specifications but claimed performance should be similar to a recent MacBook Pro or gaming PC with a dedicated graphics card. The Lightpack works in unison with additional hardware in the goggles to track the wearer's movements and render augmented reality visuals.
A magic leap to market
Magic Leap has spent over three years working on the headset. The company has taken a secretive approach to its development, infrequently providing progress updates. It has occasionally published YouTube videos to tease its technology but has not publicly demoed the headset. Last year, the company found itself mired in controversy over allegations it had faked product videos and was "years" behind schedule.
Magic Leap still hasn't provided any pricing or exact shipping details for the goggles. However, the company said it has committed to starting deliveries during 2018. It now seems to be ready to begin providing its hardware to interested customers, having commenced its development of AR products before the technology became widespread.
Magic Leap One Creator Edition
Magic Leap One Creator Edition
Magic Leap
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The company now faces new difficulties though. Its development delays have led to Magic Leap losing its leading edge position. Rival devices such as Microsoft's HoloLens are now getting established and are already being used in commercial applications.
Magic Leap's headset is supposed to have a wider field of view than the HoloLens, addressing one of Microsoft's biggest limitations. However, Microsoft's working to improve HoloLens' field of view and now has a significant head start over Magic Leap. It also boasts a growing ecosystem of mixed reality apps based on the Windows platform. Magic Leap may finally have made it to the market but the company's still got big challenges ahead of it.
More about magic leap, augmented reality, AR, future tech, Devices
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