More teasing from Magic Leap has appeared, this time in the form of a new YouTube video (below), shot through its Mixed Reality Lightfield tech, at its Dania Beach, Florida HQ last week.
The two minute clip shows a series of applications displaying emails, 3D charts and graphs, 3D Mount Everest with historical routes overlaid, a rotating shoe and a web page to buy it all projected onto the user's view of the real office around them. There's also animated jellyfish floating overhead. It's magic.
The note on the video, titled A New Morning, reads: "Shot directly through Magic Leap technology on April 8, 2016. No special effects or compositing were used in the creation of this video (except for this text)."
It shows how we might be using Magic Leap when it finally lands with, we presume, gaze based controls and sounds to alert you that you've selected an item or button. It's also the best example yet of how productivity and communication apps will align themselves with the environment around you - the Mt. Everest graphic looks like it's sitting atop the real life desk.
The wearer is turning his/her head throughout but, again, the field of view looks pretty big from the video with multiple apps displayed next to each other. We just wish Magic Leap would confirm this. If so it would be a real advantage over Microsoft's own (wireless, expensive) augmented reality system HoloLens. We also still don't know what form of wearable Magic Leap's tech will require though the hardware has been referred to as a "prototype headset", "photonic spectacles" and "magical goggles" which are semi transparent.
Unlike HoloLens, there are no development kits available for interested parties who want to build apps for it - yet.
Wired US also just published an epic behind the scenes feature on Magic Leap. It's worth reading in its entirety but there were a few interesting tidbits to come out of it.
First, Rony Abovitz's CEO, was shot holding up Magic Leap's 'photonic lightfield chip' which he does not want people to refer to as a lens. The company is still very secretive around exactly how it beams light into the eye, though, and why it's better than competitors.
Then, there's how impressed Wired was by its demo - only a few journalists have been able to try out the tech before, including MIT Tech Review. Here's the writer of the piece, Kevin Kelly:
"Intellectually, I know this drone is an elaborate simulation, but as far as my eyes are concerned it's really there, in that ordinary office. It is a virtual object, but there is no evidence of pixels or digital artifacts in its three-dimensional fullness. If I reposition my head just so, I can get the virtual drone to line up in front of a bright office lamp and perceive that it is faintly transparent, but that hint does not impede the strong sense of it being present."
There's no big release date reveal though the piece refers to Meta's plan to release its own Meta 2 AR dev kits this autumn and the fact that this is "likely well before" Magic Leap.
As for what we'll be experiencing, Peter Jackson - who is on Magic Leap's advisory board - will be creating content for it. The director also said that he finds it more exciting than VR. Plus Weta is building a virtual world with "sculpted ray guns" called Dr. Grordborts.
We'll let you know when we finally get our eyes on Magic Leap and whether it lives up to the outrageous (but probably well deserved) hype.
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