Over the past few years we've been keeping a close on eye on Magic Leap here at Rerun.
Magic Leap is a "spatial computing" company that build mixed reality glasses for everyday computing. There's been a lot of talk and quite a lot of money poured into Magic Leap but this week they finally shipped the "Magic Leap Creator Edition", a headset designed to compete with Microsoft's HoloLens.
At $2,295 it's probably not the kind of experimental electronic gadget most of us are going to pull the trigger on but the Verge have a great hands-on preview that goes deep into the strengths and unsettling weaknesses of the project.
I genuinely believe Magic Leap has given me a glimpse of the future of computing, but it might take a long time to reach that future, and I’m not sure Magic Leap will be the company that gets there first.
Star Wars holograms are officially here! This video shows R2D2 and C3PO hanging out at a dining room table, and it looks incredibly real. Still no new information on what exactly the Magic Leap looks like, but it's hard not to get excited by it!
It seems like the past few years of hype around Magic Leap is being somewhat dulled, at what should be the most exciting part of all: the product reveal.
Getting developers on board is vital to the success of any new platform, no matter the marketing budget, and it raises some flags that Magic Leap is still dangling the carrot.
Fans and potential developers were promised they'd get to finally meet the headset during a livestream session which took place earlier this week, but were left disappointed and frustrated. Details on the headset were kept surface-level, and the hosts deliberately avoided questions relating to how the Magic Leap experience actually worked. There's a lesson here for all of us in managing expectations and handling a live audience.
If you're curious about the magic behind the Magic Leap, Jono MacDougall at the GPU of the Brain blog has published a very in-depth look at what kind of technology and experience it could be. Don't take it as fact, but his research comes from talks, patents, job applications and the background of people working at the company, so it's a lot more informed than you're likely to read anywhere else.
Magic Leap Inc. doesn’t want to immerse you into a new world. Instead, it wants to build on top of the world you have. - Deepa Seetharaman, WSJ
Magic Leap have released a video to visually explain what their augmented reality technology might look like, with a floating solar system and a waving robot roaming free around the office.
We are still blind to what the hardware might resemble but there are suggestions that it will be an eyeglass, or head-mounted device, which will project computer-generated images onto the user's retina, beaming augmented reality images over their real life setting.
The future is going to be so weird...
VR is here, but it's far from finished. More importantly, it's now out there at the stage where it is good enough to improve quickly. It's primed to go through an explosion of evolution over the next 5-10 years, so it's no surprise why everyone is interested.
Arguably the most interesting company in the space right now is Magic Leap. They've released barely any information up to now, but have still managed to attract an insane amount of venture capital funding from the likes of Google and Alibaba. Everyone who has tried it says it's amazing, including Wired.
Their profile of Magic Leap and its charismatic genius founder Rony Abovitz gushes with enthusiasm and quickly turns into an insightful and thought provoking look at VR, AR and the next 10 years of computing.
Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz previously alluded to a future where we are surrounded by digital objects, near and far away, without a need for any physical screens to house them.
In the course of building this magical vision, Magic Leap have published 97 patent applications that support making virtual objects fit seamlessly into their physical environments, and allow them to be perceived at different depths of view.
At Rerun, we can only imagine what goes on behind the velvet curtain at Magic Leap. With a $4.5 billion valuation, Magic Leap's tech has yet to launch commercially or even be publicly revealed. This is either going to be a mind blowing technology for the planet, or a whale of a fail.
One thing is for sure, Magic Leap's headset-free mixed reality vision of our future is pure magic. We can't wait to cradle a tiny elephant in our hands and chase pet dragons around our living rooms.
For a company that has been backed by hundreds of millions of dollars, the elusive team at Magic Leap has remained very quiet. Ben Gilbert looks into the technology behind the mysterious cinematic reality headset, sharing the company’s patent application, which is rife with ridiculous, but amazing illustrations of what the magic headset might look like, including a hat/helmet with an attached display and our favourite - The Robert Scoble shower model!
Last week The Information published an exclusive, very unflattering report on Magic Leap's technology after seeing a product demo there. They claimed it was nothing like what's been promised and that Microsoft's Hololens is much further along.
The company has also had trouble miniaturizing its AR technology from a bulky helmet-sized device into a pair of everyday glasses, as Abovitz has repeatedly claimed the finished product will accomplish.
Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz took to Twitter to defend the technology, claiming that The Information only had access to an earlier prototype. He also announced on the Magic Leap website that the promised small, sleek device is currently in supply chain testing.
Either way it looks like we'll finally be getting a glimpse at the first product from the world's most secretive startup in 2017.