Magic Leap's next-gen AR is about to become a reality


We’ve all seen what augmented reality (AR) can do with Microsoft’s Hololens and more recently, Pokemon Go. While Microsoft’s AR vision is impressive, the company is currently charging developers $3,000 for a headset just to test it out. AR startup Magic Leap may beat Microsoft to the punch, as the company is readying its first consumer product.

Magic Leap CEO, Rony Abovitz, revealed to Fortune magazine during a technology conference that the company is reading its production line in Florida. The company has been secretive about its technology, only revealing short videos, like this awesome clip of Star Wars droids taking over a living room.

Magic Leap Star Wars

But Abovitz revealed a little bit more about how Magic Leap’s technology will work, saying, “Our system basically replicates how your eyes and brain work, how our neuro-visual system is designed to work, and it turns your brain into this kind of display. So the idea is not to have a display that you look at, but to use the display that nature gave us and talk directly to it.”

Magic Leap’s mystery device

We still have no idea what Magic Leap’s consumer product will look like, other than what we’ve seen in this design patent. What separates Magic Leap from the competition is that it produces the the hardware, software, chips and sensors. This control over every aspect of the product may mean a more seamless experience than its competitors.

Magic Leap headset patent drawing
Image Credit: USPTO

“I give Google a huge amount of credit for jumping in, but we’re doing things that are fundamentally different,” said Abovitz. He declined to go into specifics about the hardware.

Magic Leap’s initial plans for its technology are for entertainment and games, though it is also looking at applications for business and commerce as well. Imagine trying out clothes virtually using AR. Clothing store Uniqlo already features virtual dressing rooms with its in-store Magic Mirror display, but Magic Leap’s AR could let users try out clothes at home.

The company will also be able to beam advertisements directly to users. “So my system could recognize that I’m looking at your sweater, and then an alert pops up from Amazon or Alibaba, and it says if you buy it now you can get 10% off,” said Magic Leap chief marketing officer Brian Wallace. Get ready for a future that looks eerily similar to Minority Report.

Minority Report personalized ads

Magic Leap has over 600 employees currently, and they’re all busy working to bring products to light. Abovitz claimed his company’s technology is “not a decade out” and that the public would get a glimpse of what they’re working on “soon-ish.”

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