Magic Leap unveils Magic Leap One AR headset, 2018 release

Magic Leap
Magic Leap promotional photo. (Facebook/ magicleap)

After years of developing the technology in secrecy, Magic Leap has finally unveiled its much-anticipated augmented reality (AR) headset called the Magic Leap One. The device utilizes light field signal technology and is expected to become available by next year.

Tha AR startup, which famously raised a whopping $1.9 billion from big-name backers including Google and Alibaba, has announced that the Creator Edition of the Magic Leap One will be released in 2018.

The product is targeted at developers and early adopters, and it is expected to have an expensive price tag. Magic Leap has not revealed when the consumer version of the Magic Leap One will become available.

The Creator Edition consists of three pieces of hardware. The first one, called the Lightwear, is a headset that utilizes what the company calls Digital Lightfield display technology. It has a number of integrated sensors that gather spatial information around the user.

The second component is the Lightpack, a round pack that can be worn on the user’s belt. This device contains the computing system that powers the headset and is connected to it through a wire.

Lastly, the Control is a handheld controller that can be tracked by the headset in space. It helps the user navigate through the menu selections and the various applications that would be operated in the device.

The technology that Magic Leap employs is different from other virtual reality headsets in the market. Instead of a closed headset that recreates the user’s environment in three dimensions, the new product uses light field signals to project digital characters and other features on another layer that is placed over the user’s view of the real world.

The company has met a lot of criticisms in recent years for overselling its own potential after it was found that its early patent applications included concepts that were copied from science fiction movies. Nonetheless, expectations from the company remained high, partly because of the massive funding it received from large companies.