What Magic Leap One Tells Us About the Near-Future of AR Hardware

Mega-funded startup Magic Leap recently unveiled its planned hardware developer kit, dubbed the Magic Leap One. The googly-eyed headset drew some unkind remarks for its looks, and some of the company’s comments surrounding it were vague at best and frustrating at worst. But the One does represent a well-financed company’s vision of where augmented reality hardware is heading in 2018, so a brief dissection of its design is illustrative of some of AR’s design challenges.

Three-Pieced Kit
The Magic Leap One consists of the head-mounted goggles (Lightwear), a tethered computer (Lightpack), and a controller (Control). The look of the Lightwear goggles might not win any fashion awards, but its where we’ve long expected Magic Leap to bring its AR special sauce to the market. Specifically, the company says its lightfield photonics “generate light at different depths and blend seamlessly with natural light to produce lifelike digital objects that coexist in the real world.” To do all of this, Lightwear must not only believably create those images, but it must anchor those objects in the real world. A digital representation of a flower vase is only believable if it stays locked to the real-world table upon which you place it. To do this, the headset has numerous cameras and sensors that point outward, capturing what is happening around the wearer. In addition to capturing the environment, these sensors also play a role in capturing what the user is doing, with their head, with their hands, and with their voice. Capturing this information is hard; processing it in real time is a very heavy computing lift.

Which is why I’m very happy to see that, at least for now, Magic Leap moved at least some of that processing off the headset and into the cable-tethered Lightpack. The company says the puck-sized device has processing and graphics power that’s comparable to a notebook computer. As I’ve been studying the AR market the last several years I’ve become increasingly convinced that the best AR experiences for the foreseeable future will require head-mounted displays that utilize computing power located off the headset. That processing may be from a purpose-built unit, as is the case here, or from a more general-purpose computing device, such as a smartphone. There are numerous reasons why this off-the-head computing is necessary, but the key ones include removing the battery weight from the headset, relocating the heat-producing CPU and GPUs away from the user’s face, and repositioning the various necessary radios such as LTE and WiFi away from the head. It will be some time before the industry can address these technical issues in a form factor that’s suitable for wearing on your face. In the meantime, it is best to move them elsewhere. (Indecently, I think this is how Apple’s predicted AR glasses would work, utilizing the processing power of the iPhone in your pocket).

Finally, there’s the Control navigation. The fact that Magic Leap plans to ship its first developer kit with a handheld controller is an acknowledgment that, at least for now, hand tracking isn’t sufficient for the experience the company is trying to create with its platform. Magic Leap says Control includes six degrees of freedom (comparable to the best tethered VR setups today), as well as haptic feedback. Adding the controller to the mix increases the amount of user-interface data the setup can capture, so while holding a controller may seem initially counterintuitive to an immersive experience, it may well bring substantial benefits to the table. The one rub is in commercial use cases where the employee needs both hands to work, but that’s likely not the use case Magic Leap is targeting out of the gate with this product.

By utilizing three different devices, spread around the body, Magic Leap can disperse design challenges such as weight and heat while maximizing the ability to include all the necessary sensors, processors, and batteries. One hopes that the result is a singular cohesive experience.

Artisanal Spatial Computing
Magic Leap unveiled the One on its website and through an in-depth article by Brian Crecente on Rolling Stone’s gaming site Glixel that’s well worth the read. The company hasn’t announced a ship date or price but claims it will ship sometime in 2018. Pushed on price, Magic Leap’s founder Rony Abovitz said, “I would say we are more of a premium computing system. We are more of a premium artisanal computer.” I’m not sure what that means, but I’m guessing it’s not cheap.

In a follow-up piece, Abovitz had this to say about what to call Magic Leap’s technology: “Personally I don’t like the terms AR, VR or MR for us, so we’re calling our computers a spatial computer and our visualization a digital light field because that’s probably the most accurate description of what we do. The other terms are totally corrupted.” While I can appreciate Abovitz’s comments here, I find this line of reasoning problematic for the same reason that I continue to find Microsoft’s use of Mixed Reality instead of Augmented Reality frustrating. As an industry, at some point, we must agree on what to call things. Otherwise, it is very hard to measure a market, drive growth, and facilitate standards.

Pricing, ship dates, and naming discussions aside, what Magic Leap introduced with the One certainly looks promising. And, as noted, this a developer kit, designed to get programmers working on content for the company’s forthcoming platform. I eagerly await the opportunity to try out the hardware and look forward to seeing how this reveal impacts the decision of other AR-focused companies.

Published by

Tom Mainelli

Tom Mainelli has covered the technology industry since 1995. He manages IDC's Devices and Displays group, which covers a broad range of hardware categories including PCs, tablets, smartphones, thin clients, displays, and wearables. He works closely with tech companies, industry contacts, and other analysts to provide in-depth insight and analysis on the always-evolving market of endpoint devices and their related services. In addition to overseeing the collection of historical shipment data and the forecasting of shipment trends in cooperation with IDC's Tracker organization, he also heads up numerous primary research initiatives at IDC. Chief among them is the fielding and analysis of IDC's influential, multi-country Consumer and Commercial PC, Tablet, and Smartphone Buyer Surveys. Mainelli is also driving new research at IDC around the technologies of augmented and virtual reality.

1,030 thoughts on “What Magic Leap One Tells Us About the Near-Future of AR Hardware”

  1. sildenafil discount prices [url=http://sildenafil.win/#]buy sildenafil online[/url] can you purchase sildenafil over the counter

  2. sildenafil tablets 50mg [url=https://sildenafil.win/#]sildenafil 50mg price australia[/url] sildenafil 50 mg tablet price in india

  3. where can i buy doxycycline capsules [url=http://doxycycline.forum/#]doxycycline buy online[/url] cost doxycycline

  4. can you buy zithromax over the counter in canada [url=http://azithromycin.bar/#]zithromax antibiotic without prescription[/url] zithromax cost

  5. zithromax prescription online [url=https://azithromycin.bar/#]buy cheap generic zithromax[/url] zithromax online no prescription

  6. ciprofloxacin generic price [url=http://ciprofloxacin.men/#]Get cheapest Ciprofloxacin online[/url] antibiotics cipro

  7. medication from mexico pharmacy [url=https://mexicopharmacy.store/#]mexican online pharmacy[/url] mexican mail order pharmacies

  8. mail order pharmacy list [url=https://ordermedicationonline.pro/#]Top mail order pharmacies[/url] trusted canadian pharmacy

  9. farmaci senza ricetta elenco [url=https://farmaciait.pro/#]farmacia online spedizione gratuita[/url] comprare farmaci online con ricetta

  10. farmacias online baratas [url=https://tadalafilo.pro/#]cialis 20 mg precio farmacia[/url] farmacias online baratas

  11. farmacia online madrid [url=https://vardenafilo.icu/#]Comprar Levitra Sin Receta En Espana[/url] farmacia barata

  12. sildenafilo cinfa 100 mg precio farmacia [url=http://sildenafilo.store/#]viagra generico[/url] sildenafilo 50 mg precio sin receta

  13. п»їpharmacie en ligne [url=http://cialissansordonnance.pro/#]cialis[/url] acheter mГ©dicaments Г  l’Г©tranger

  14. acheter medicament a l etranger sans ordonnance [url=https://pharmacieenligne.guru/#]pharmacie en ligne pas cher[/url] п»їpharmacie en ligne

  15. Pharmacie en ligne livraison rapide [url=https://kamagrafr.icu/#]kamagra oral jelly[/url] Pharmacie en ligne livraison rapide

  16. Pharmacie en ligne pas cher [url=https://levitrafr.life/#]Levitra pharmacie en ligne[/url] pharmacie ouverte 24/24

  17. п»їonline apotheke [url=https://potenzmittel.men/#]Potenzmittel fur Manner[/url] online apotheke preisvergleich

  18. online-apotheken [url=http://apotheke.company/#]apotheke online versandkostenfrei[/url] online apotheke versandkostenfrei

  19. online apotheke gГјnstig [url=https://cialiskaufen.pro/#]cialis preise[/url] online apotheke versandkostenfrei

  20. Viagra Tabletten für Männer [url=https://viagrakaufen.store/#]viagra bestellen[/url] Viagra rezeptfreie Schweiz bestellen

  21. medication from mexico pharmacy [url=http://mexicanpharmacy.cheap/#]pharmacies in mexico that ship to usa[/url] mexico drug stores pharmacies

  22. mexican border pharmacies shipping to usa [url=http://mexicanpharmacy.cheap/#]mexican rx online[/url] purple pharmacy mexico price list

  23. canadian pharmacy cheap [url=https://canadiandrugs.tech/#]canadian pharmacy store[/url] reputable canadian online pharmacy canadiandrugs.tech

  24. world pharmacy india [url=https://indiapharmacy.guru/#]cheapest online pharmacy india[/url] best online pharmacy india indiapharmacy.guru

  25. п»їlegitimate online pharmacies india [url=http://indiapharmacy.guru/#]best online pharmacy india[/url] Online medicine home delivery indiapharmacy.guru

  26. canadian pharmacy 24h com [url=http://canadiandrugs.tech/#]northwest canadian pharmacy[/url] canadadrugpharmacy com canadiandrugs.tech

  27. herbal ed treatment [url=http://edpills.tech/#]pills erectile dysfunction[/url] buy ed pills online edpills.tech

  28. doxycycline monohydrate [url=https://doxycyclinebestprice.pro/#]buy doxycycline online[/url] doxycycline

  29. lisinopril 420 1g [url=https://lisinoprilbestprice.store/#]lisinopril tabs[/url] over the counter lisinopril

  30. mexico pharmacies prescription drugs [url=http://mexicopharm.com/#]medication from mexico pharmacy[/url] mexican drugstore online mexicopharm.com

  31. buy cytotec pills online cheap [url=http://misoprostol.shop/#]buy cytotec online[/url] Abortion pills online

  32. cost generic propecia [url=https://finasteride.men/#]Buy finasteride 1mg[/url] cost of cheap propecia no prescription

  33. zithromax online australia [url=http://azithromycin.store/#]buy zithromax z-pak online[/url] zithromax 1000 mg pills

  34. п»їfarmacia online migliore [url=https://avanafilitalia.online/#]Avanafil farmaco[/url] farmacie online autorizzate elenco

  35. zithromax 500 without prescription [url=https://zithromaxpharm.online/#]zithromax 500 mg lowest price online[/url] zithromax 500mg over the counter

  36. can you buy cheap clomid prices [url=https://clomidpharm.shop/#]clomid without prescription[/url] can i get clomid online

  37. pharmacies not requiring a prescription [url=http://reputablepharmacies.online/#]no perscription pharmacy[/url] canada pharmacy reviews

  38. legitimate online pharmacies [url=https://reputablepharmacies.online/#]prescription without a doctor’s prescription[/url] ed drugs online

  39. prescription drugs online without doctor [url=http://edwithoutdoctorprescription.store/#]tadalafil without a doctor’s prescription[/url] viagra without a doctor prescription walmart

  40. buying prescription drugs in mexico [url=https://mexicanpharmacy.win/#]online mexican pharmacy[/url] mexican pharmaceuticals online mexicanpharmacy.win

  41. online canadian pharmacy review [url=http://canadianpharmacy.pro/#]Canadian pharmacy online[/url] canadian pharmacy antibiotics canadianpharmacy.pro

  42. canada pharmacy [url=http://canadianpharmacy.pro/#]ordering drugs from canada[/url] canadian pharmacy 1 internet online drugstore canadianpharmacy.pro

  43. mexico pharmacies prescription drugs [url=https://mexicanpharmacy.win/#]online mexican pharmacy[/url] buying from online mexican pharmacy mexicanpharmacy.win

  44. Online medicine order [url=https://indianpharmacy.shop/#]Cheapest online pharmacy[/url] top online pharmacy india indianpharmacy.shop

  45. india pharmacy mail order [url=http://indianpharmacy.shop/#]Cheapest online pharmacy[/url] indian pharmacy paypal indianpharmacy.shop

  46. Pharmacie en ligne livraison 24h [url=https://pharmadoc.pro/#]Pharmacies en ligne certifiГ©es[/url] Pharmacie en ligne livraison rapide

  47. SildГ©nafil 100 mg sans ordonnance [url=https://viagrasansordonnance.pro/#]Viagra generique en pharmacie[/url] Viagra 100 mg sans ordonnance

  48. pharmacie ouverte 24/24 [url=https://cialissansordonnance.shop/#]Cialis sans ordonnance 24h[/url] п»їpharmacie en ligne

  49. Pharmacie en ligne livraison rapide [url=https://levitrasansordonnance.pro/#]Levitra sans ordonnance 24h[/url] Acheter mГ©dicaments sans ordonnance sur internet

  50. Pharmacie en ligne livraison gratuite [url=https://cialissansordonnance.shop/#]Cialis sans ordonnance 24h[/url] Pharmacie en ligne sans ordonnance

  51. Pharmacie en ligne fiable [url=https://acheterkamagra.pro/#]kamagra livraison 24h[/url] Pharmacie en ligne pas cher

  52. ivermectin cream canada cost [url=https://ivermectin.store/#]stromectol tab price[/url] stromectol over the counter

  53. cost of amoxicillin 30 capsules [url=http://amoxicillin.bid/#]can i purchase amoxicillin online[/url] amoxicillin 800 mg price

  54. how can i get clomid [url=https://clomiphene.icu/#]where can i get generic clomid without insurance[/url] clomid pill

  55. best india pharmacy [url=http://indianpharm.store/#]order medicine from india to usa[/url] india online pharmacy indianpharm.store

  56. world pharmacy india [url=https://indianpharm.store/#]Indian pharmacy to USA[/url] top online pharmacy india indianpharm.store

  57. canadian drug pharmacy [url=https://canadianpharm.store/#]canada drugs[/url] canadian discount pharmacy canadianpharm.store

  58. maple leaf pharmacy in canada [url=https://canadianpharm.store/#]Canadian International Pharmacy[/url] 77 canadian pharmacy canadianpharm.store

  59. india pharmacy mail order [url=https://indianpharm.store/#]international medicine delivery from india[/url] best online pharmacy india indianpharm.store

  60. mexico drug stores pharmacies [url=http://mexicanpharm.shop/#]Online Pharmacies in Mexico[/url] buying from online mexican pharmacy mexicanpharm.shop

  61. canadian pharmacies that deliver to the us [url=https://canadianpharm.store/#]online canadian drugstore[/url] global pharmacy canada canadianpharm.store

  62. buy prescription drugs from india [url=http://indianpharm.store/#]international medicine delivery from india[/url] online shopping pharmacy india indianpharm.store

  63. canada pharmacy online no script [url=http://canadadrugs.pro/#]canadian pharmacy presription and meds[/url] top 10 mail order pharmacies

  64. northwestpharmacy [url=https://canadadrugs.pro/#]online ed medication no prescription[/url] international pharmacies that ship to the usa

  65. canadian trust pharmacy [url=http://canadadrugs.pro/#]prescription drug price comparison[/url] north canadian pharmacy

  66. medicine in mexico pharmacies [url=http://certifiedpharmacymexico.pro/#]п»їbest mexican online pharmacies[/url] medicine in mexico pharmacies

  67. non prescription erection pills [url=https://edpill.cheap/#]medication for ed dysfunction[/url] best ed medication

  68. mail order pharmacy india [url=http://medicinefromindia.store/#]top 10 online pharmacy in india[/url] online pharmacy india

  69. buy prescription drugs from india [url=https://medicinefromindia.store/#]indian pharmacies safe[/url] online pharmacy india

  70. mexico pharmacies prescription drugs [url=http://certifiedpharmacymexico.pro/#]mexican online pharmacies prescription drugs[/url] mexican border pharmacies shipping to usa

  71. canadapharmacyonline legit [url=http://canadianinternationalpharmacy.pro/#]pharmacy rx world canada[/url] canadian pharmacy

  72. mexican border pharmacies shipping to usa [url=http://certifiedpharmacymexico.pro/#]medicine in mexico pharmacies[/url] mexican border pharmacies shipping to usa

  73. п»їbest mexican online pharmacies [url=http://certifiedpharmacymexico.pro/#]buying from online mexican pharmacy[/url] medication from mexico pharmacy

  74. cheapest online pharmacy india [url=https://medicinefromindia.store/#]Online medicine home delivery[/url] top 10 pharmacies in india

  75. top online pharmacy india [url=https://medicinefromindia.store/#]п»їlegitimate online pharmacies india[/url] top online pharmacy india

  76. mexican border pharmacies shipping to usa [url=https://certifiedpharmacymexico.pro/#]mexico drug stores pharmacies[/url] buying from online mexican pharmacy

  77. world pharmacy india [url=https://medicinefromindia.store/#]top online pharmacy india[/url] online shopping pharmacy india

  78. indian pharmacy paypal [url=http://medicinefromindia.store/#]pharmacy website india[/url] top 10 online pharmacy in india

  79. buy prescription drugs online without [url=http://edwithoutdoctorprescription.pro/#]cialis without a doctor prescription[/url] discount prescription drugs

  80. medicine in mexico pharmacies [url=http://mexicanph.shop/#]mexican drugstore online[/url] medication from mexico pharmacy

  81. mexico drug stores pharmacies [url=https://mexicanph.com/#]mexican border pharmacies shipping to usa[/url] mexico drug stores pharmacies

  82. п»їbest mexican online pharmacies [url=http://mexicanph.shop/#]purple pharmacy mexico price list[/url] buying prescription drugs in mexico online

  83. mexican pharmacy [url=http://mexicanph.com/#]purple pharmacy mexico price list[/url] mexican border pharmacies shipping to usa

  84. reputable mexican pharmacies online [url=https://mexicanph.com/#]mexican drugstore online[/url] medication from mexico pharmacy

  85. п»їbest mexican online pharmacies [url=https://mexicanph.shop/#]buying prescription drugs in mexico[/url] mexico drug stores pharmacies

  86. mexican mail order pharmacies [url=http://mexicanph.shop/#]mexico pharmacy[/url] medication from mexico pharmacy

  87. medicine in mexico pharmacies [url=https://mexicanph.com/#]best online pharmacies in mexico[/url] mexico drug stores pharmacies

  88. mexican border pharmacies shipping to usa [url=https://mexicanph.shop/#]buying prescription drugs in mexico online[/url] buying from online mexican pharmacy

  89. mexican mail order pharmacies [url=http://mexicanph.com/#]buying from online mexican pharmacy[/url] medication from mexico pharmacy

  90. mexican drugstore online [url=http://mexicanph.com/#]mexico pharmacies prescription drugs[/url] buying from online mexican pharmacy

  91. mexican rx online [url=https://mexicanph.com/#]pharmacies in mexico that ship to usa[/url] mexican online pharmacies prescription drugs

  92. purple pharmacy mexico price list [url=http://mexicanph.com/#]mexico pharmacy[/url] mexican mail order pharmacies

  93. rexall pharmacy amoxicillin 500mg [url=https://amoxil.cheap/#]amoxicillin 500mg price in canada[/url] amoxicillin discount

  94. amoxicillin generic [url=https://amoxil.cheap/#]can i buy amoxicillin over the counter in australia[/url] amoxicillin in india

  95. amoxil generic [url=https://amoxil.cheap/#]amoxicillin without a doctors prescription[/url] how to get amoxicillin over the counter

  96. can we buy amoxcillin 500mg on ebay without prescription [url=http://amoxil.cheap/#]buy amoxicillin over the counter uk[/url] prescription for amoxicillin

  97. top 10 online pharmacy in india [url=https://indianph.xyz/#]indianpharmacy com[/url] indian pharmacy online