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Magic Leap finally reveals its headset: ‘Lightwear’

After years of speculation, secretive tech firm Magic Leap has finally unveiled its highly-anticipated ‘mixed reality’ headset.

Magic Leap’s Lightwear device is a far cry from the bulky, face-hugging platforms that have become popular in VR, instead using wraparound steampunk-style goggles.

The system, set to be released in 2018, is tethered to a tiny computing platform, which is small enough to clip to the pocket of your jeans.

 

After years of speculation, secretive tech firm Magic Leap has finally unveiled its highly-anticipated ‘mixed reality’ headset. Instead of a bulky face-hugging design, the Lightwear headset is much like slim goggles 

It will be available in two sizes, with components that can be customized to better fit the wearer, according to Rolling Stone.

This includes the forehead pad, nose pieces, and temple pads.

For users who wear glasses, Magic Leap will also incorporate prescription details into the lenses.

The firm unveiled the first details on the Magic Leap One Creator’s Edition headset today, revealing a lightweight system that relies on three pieces: the Lighwear glasses, the Lightpack computing platform, and the Control handheld controller.

While they haven’t yet said when it will ship, or how much the device will cost, they say the devices will begin shipping in 2018.

Magic Leap’s Lightwear device is a far cry from the bulky, face-hugging platforms that have become popular in VR, instead using wraparound steampunk-style goggles

Magic Leap’s Lightwear device is a far cry from the bulky, face-hugging platforms that have become popular in VR, instead using wraparound steampunk-style goggles

The firm revealed the first details on the Magic Leap One Creator’s Edition headset today, revealing a lightweight system that relies on three pieces: the Lighwear glasses, the Lightpack computing platform, and the Control handheld controller

The firm revealed the first details on the Magic Leap One Creator’s Edition headset today, revealing a lightweight system that relies on three pieces: the Lighwear glasses, the Lightpack computing platform, and the Control handheld controller

Magic Leap – which is backed by $1.4 billion in funding – has been subject to speculation for months, as they continued to remain tight-lipped about the ‘mixed reality’ device.

The firm was recently granted a patent for what appeared to be their AR glasses, sparking fresh rumors just this summer.

The patent drawings depicted somewhat bulky-looking glasses with cameras on both arms and what appears to be two pairs of lenses stacked on top of each other.

In a twist, the document is for ‘virtual reality glasses.’

This came as a surprise to many, as Magic Leap has previously released demonstration videos depicting augmented reality.

 The firm was recently granted a patent for what appeared to be their AR glasses, sparking fresh rumors just this summer

 The firm was recently granted a patent for what appeared to be their AR glasses, sparking fresh rumors just this summer

MAGIC LEAP: WHAT WE KNOW

In October 2015, Magic Leap announced it had raised $542 million in funding, led by Google. 

Other investors included Qualcomm, the world’s leading phone chipmaker, Andreessen Horowitz, KKR, and Legendary Entertainment.

Now others including Alibaba are on board, and the company has raised $1.39 million. 

Unlike current VR headsets, Magic Leap is a ‘mixed reality’ device.

So, the user is able to see through the glass, called the ‘photonic lightfield chip.’ 

Investors and other insiders who have tried the top-secret glasses said that while smaller than VR headsets, the glasses are on the bulkier side and like swim goggles with large lenses.

They are larger than Snapchat’s Spectacles, they said.

Those demo units were said to have a large battery pack the size of two iPhones stacked on top of each other attached and able to be placed in the wearer’s pocket.

A separate component – meant to be worn on a belt – contained the GPU and CPU and was about the size of a portable CD player.

This investor look was in the spring, which indicated the glasses depicted in the patent may be an older version that has already been scrapped. 

However, VR and AR are used interchangeably enough that the glasses could still be used for augmented reality experiences, but seeing as this is a design patent, technical details are lacking.

While the patent states that Magic Leap applied for it in September 2015 and that Magic Leap is the assignee, the company denied it depicts its actual glasses.

A Magic Leap spokesperson told Business Insider at the time that these are not Magic Leap’s product.

‘As you know, we file lots of patents that take a long time to get approved and so what you are looking at is not our product,’ she said. 

Unnamed sources with knowledge of the company’s hardware said the design is close in appearance but that the real design is bigger and bulkier, according to Business Insider. 

A previous Magic Leap demonstration showed a solar system appearing in front of a user. The glassesare set to compete with Microsoft's HoloLens glasses and cost around $1,000

A previous Magic Leap demonstration showed a solar system appearing in front of a user. The glassesare set to compete with Microsoft’s HoloLens glasses and cost around $1,000



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