Magic Leap already has a good history. The augmented reality goggles that were originally set up as revolutionary have been under development for a long time, but it was not until this month that the product was shown to the press. The glasses are now also for sale, although with a price tag of 2300 dollars it will be spent on very few people.
The first reactions of the people who could have tried the glasses can at best be described as ‘mixed’. It works, it is better than what Microsoft has shown so far with their Hololens (which also still costs $ 3000) but not enough to really impress the testers.
Field of view
The biggest problem that you see coming back in all tests is the so-called field of view, or how much of the AR screen you can see in relation to your entire field of vision. Although this seems to be slightly better than the very limited field of view of the Hololens, the AR elements are still limited to a small window within your field of vision.
According to Magic Leap itself, you have to see it as a cone, where things can be shown larger at a distance and fit into your field of vision. However, if you come closer than you see the edges behind which the virtual objects disappear. What you can see looks okay, and several reviewers say that the quality of the virtual objects in terms of clarity and sharpness can measure with direct competitor Hololens.
No revolution at all
That is fine in itself, and with apparently well functioning and comfortable hardware the first steps have now been taken. A start-up problem turns out to be that the AR glasses really have to be very precise before the experience works, which is always difficult when you try to show new technology. Anyway, if it works, it works well, and in that sense it can be a good product as a competitor of Microsoft’s Hololens. The problem is that Hololens is now almost two years old.
Magic Leap has had so much completely overwhelmed hype around the product in the early years that an ‘ordinary’ AR-glasses that do what an existing product does is far from revolutionary. The expectations that Magic Leap has created can not be fulfilled by far and that is quite a damper. After 2.3 billion in investments, you hope for more than one me-too product. However, at Magic Leap they have patience . If this version is not to your liking, there is always a second attempt.
Apparently, Magic Leap 2.0 is already being worked on, because the company is convinced that AR is the future and wants to be part of it at all costs. Whether that means that they will be bought by Microsoft within the next two years, we will see again, but for now Magic Leap is primarily a company that must have visions for the future instead of products for now.