Super-Secretive Mixed-Reality Headset Magic Leap One Finally Unveiled

Thursday, 21 December 2017 - 12:13PM
Virtual Reality
Gadgets
Thursday, 21 December 2017 - 12:13PM
Super-Secretive Mixed-Reality Headset Magic Leap One Finally Unveiled
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Image Credit: Magic Leap/Sigur Ros: composite photo created by Outer Places
Well, virtual reality certainly turned out to be a bust, didn't it?

For all the praise and hype surrounding headsets like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, consumers by and large don't yet seem interested in strapping on an expensive headset to enter a digital world that will, more often than not, make them feel dizzy and nauseous.

via GIPHY


While the consumer maker for traditional VR may not be taking off any time soon, plenty of companies are looking at what could well be considered a superior alternative, in the form of augmented reality or mixed reality - a visual head's up display that's created within the visor, while viewers are also able to see the real world around them.

Essentially, think of Iron Man's display within his helmet - handy computer stats and analysis, displayed visually in such a way that it doesn't stop the user from being able to walk around, read the newspaper, or drive a car.

via GIPHY


Except, maybe you shouldn't drive a car while using this thing - there's no way this is going to be any less distracting than browsing Facebook on your phone.

Ever since this technology first began to grow in popularity, one product has often been rumored, but has never actually been seen. The Magic Leap One has almost been treated as a fable, albeit one with a lot of funding behind it, that has promised some futuristic version of mixed reality, without ever having much to show off.



Finally, though, the time is here: we have an initial look at the Magic Leap One, and a promise that the headset will become available in 2018.

What's interesting is the form that this sneak peek at the machine has taken. Rather than showing off the technology's potential for business use, as Microsoft is doing with its HoloLens, the team behind the Magic Leap One is instead boasting about an audiovisual proof of concept that has been created in conjunction with Icelanding rock band Sigur Rós.

While their full creation has yet to be shown to the world, a small snippet of the Magic Leap One's proof of concept shows off swirling lights and shapes that definitely fit with the band's general aesthetic. It seems that this mixed reality headset will focus, more so than other similar technology, on creating immersive audiovisual experiences for users to enjoy.



It remains to be seen how well this strategy will work. Part of the reason why Microsoft is focusing on businesses for its own augmented reality set-up is no doubt because the consumer market has proven wary of expensive headsets that do little other than create pretty pictures.

The business potential for this kind of technology, creating holograms with visual displays of charts and images, seems to make sense. It's also completely logical that astronauts aboard the ISS could make use of being able to keep track of various systems and equipment at all times, even while on the space-toilet.

Will peope be as interested in a fancy headset that lets them enjoy a specially tailored Sigur Rós light show from the comfort of their own homes? Maybe not, but considering the secrecy that has surrounded the Magic Leap One, it's worth assuming that the device has a lot more tricks up its sleeve that haven't been unveiled yet.

Here's hoping that among its many uses, the mixed reality headset will have some potential that will give a widespread consumer base reason to rank this innovation as more important than the VR headsets that have ultimately proven less than hugely popular.

via GIPHY

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