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Magic Leap looks like a step forward rather than a leap…Why should anyone buy the Magic Leap AR headset?

August 22, 2018

There was an incredible amount of buildup surrounding it’s release, many would say too much. But when you receive $2.3B in funding, for a product that no-one has ever seen and you show a whale breaching in a school gym while the kids go wild - you are left inspired.

 

Here’s a look at the whale: 

 

 

And here’s a look at what the headset and peripherals look like:

 

 

 

Then to cut to the details you really care about, below is a list of the good, bad, ugly from all I’ve gleaned from others:

 

Pros

  • Mixed Reality (MR) is an improvement over Augmented Reality (AR) as it allows for real world knowledge (e.g. hide behind a chair, fall off a table, nudge with your hand, etc.)

  • Hand and object tracking for ease of interaction

  • Light and comfortable - early reviews appear to put this as the most comfortable headset around

  • No need to attach to external machine = portability

  • 6 DOF (degrees of freedom) = movement in all directions

  • Speech to text (like Siri) = ease of communication

  • Eye tracking = limited currently, but could be a huge advantage for the future in helping us orientate move and learn from how we interact

Cons

  • Expensive $2,295 = certainly not for the average user

  • Low FOV (field of view) = 50 degrees = better than Hololens, but every review I’ve seen still states it’s way too small (more on FOV here)

  • Graphics look good - but no where near photorealistic as portrayed in the build-up commercials

  • You can’t wear with your glasses (yet)

 

In summary

 

A great MR headset, yet not leaps and bounds over the competition… so tough for indie developers [or anyone really] to pay out so much, when you know they are going to be releasing an improved, cheaper version in the not too distant future.

It seems the Magic Leap One was over hyped, is a mildly improved version of the hololens, yet is still a long way away from being a product for the masses.

As an VR/AR fanatic, I’m intrigued about this headset and currently this is the first headset other than the Meta, that I’ve not rushed out to buy. However, my judgement is based solely on what I’ve heard and read and have (yet) no first hand experiences, so would love to hear what you think and what others are saying, especially those who have purchased or tried it first hand.

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