Could the long-awaited launch of the Augmented Reality (AR) platform Magic Leap One in 2018 be the quantum jump that spells the end of themmobile-first business model?
Magic Leap One, the details of which were finally unveiled in December 2017, is the headset device promised by its maker, the Florida-based start-up Magic Leap, since 2011.
Its makers have vowed to revolutionize AR, the technology that allows content creators to superimpose virtual 3D objects on viewers’ real-world physical surroundings, and Mixed Reality (MR), the tech that melds AR and the totally immersive world of Virtual Reality (VR).
If Magic Leap One (pictured, below) achieves half of its promise, it could propel AR, MR and VR into mass-market status.
Its founders, led by CEO Rony Abovitz, say the full commercial launch will take place sometime this year. And Aurelien Simon, Head of Immersive at UK-based government backed innovation center Digital Catapult, is confident 2018 is going to be the year of Magic Leap One’s emergence.
“Magic Leap has been a mystery for all the VR/AR community for the past few years. From its extreme secrecy to its billion dollars’ investments and cryptic PR, Magic Leap has found the recipe for getting the community talking,” Simon tells TechMutiny.
“Its recent announcement of a partnership with artist Sigur Rós and sudden activity by (CEO) Abovitz on Twitter made us wonder if the unveiling of the product is for a very near future.”
He also advises the creative industries to see this development as a sign to start taking the still-evolving AR, VR and MR technologies seriously. “Entertainers urgently need to consider developing their strategy with these technologies in case they are left out of a future lucrative market.”
Threat to physical mobile?
After almost six years of outright secrecy but nearly US$1.9bn in investments, the Magic Leap One device has left the world of stratospheric hype and landed in the real world.
Its eccentric-looking hardware comprises goggles that are lighter and slimmer than the standard VR headsets. They are attached to a circular Lightpack computer (as opposed to heavy powerful PCs for VR) that can be clipped to your clothing, and a hand-held controller.
To learn more about how Magic Leap might influence the future of immersive media, download TechMutiny Issue No.16