After 6 years and $1.9 billion, unveils its smart glassesBy Elliot Bullman
Magic Leaphas finally revealed its highly anticipated augmented-reality smart glasses for the first time.
Billed as the Magic Leap One Creator Edition, the smart glasses feature an array of sensors on the front, connected via a wire to a battery and computing pack designed to be worn on the belt. A wireless controller is used as input.
Magic Leap's glasses will integrate computer graphics into the real world, a technology often called "augmented reality" by other companies. Magic Leap calls its technology "mixed reality."
Magic Leap is calling its glasses Lightwear, the battery pack Lightpack, and the controller is called Control.
Magic Leap's website says the headset will ship in 2018, adding that the "product is continually advancing and may be different at time of shipment." It's the first time Magic Leap has put a deadline on its product.
Magic Leap's site lists several use cases for the headset, including web browsing and shopping, opening up multiple virtual monitors and telepresence. That's in addition to the entertainment and gaming applications that Magic Leap has discussed in the past. "
Magic Leap also came up with a software interface for its optics: "We live and think in a 3D world, not on a flat screen. Our spatial interface includes multiple input modes including voice, gesture, head pose and eye tracking."
Magic Leap is an unusual startup. It's raised $1.9 billion in fundingfrom investors, including Google, Alibaba, and Singapore's Temasek Holdings. And it's based in Florida, not California.
Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz talked about those ideas in an interview with Rolling Stone. The breakthrough, according to Abovitz, was that the brain's visual cortex approximates a processor, and that if Magic Leap could render only the parts of a "light field" that the eye is looking at, it could turn it into a headset.
"Our thought was, if we could figure out this signal and or approximate it, maybe it would be really cool to encode that into a wafer,” he told Rolling Stone. “That we could make a small wafer that could emit the digital light field signal back through the front again. That was the key idea.”
Magic Leap has not mentioned a price, but people close to the company have previously said previously saidto expect it to cost between $1,000 and $1,500.
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