magic leap

As we progress further into the realms of augmented and virtual reality or even a mix of both, Magic Leap is one name that’s certain to come up during a conversation. After building up hype for the past couple of years, we’ve heard (or even seen) very little of the rather leap-frogging innovation that the company had promised to deliver. But we now have a seemingly fitting revelation about the said product.

The company’s revolutionary ‘mixed reality’ technology, as stated by The Information, hasn’t lived up to expectations and is years away from completion. Also, citing sources with hands-on experience of the product, it mentions that Magic Leap’s headgear is still bulky and inferior when compared to its counterparts like the Microsoft HoloLens.

The technology of this billion dollar company has also been unmasked as misleading (or a hoax) in this report. To further invigorate masses, Magic Leap had dropped a product demonstration video displaying a blurry mess of a game which the teams seem to enjoy at the company’s offices. But sources suggest that no such game existed at that time and the company posted a video made completely using special-effects to hype people for its upcoming tech.

For those who remember, the video carried a WETA workshop logo and the majority suggested that visual assets for the game were created by the studio. But the clips were never recorded using the actual headgear – which still isn’t ready yet. Instead, WETA had incorporated the special-effects over the recording of the office. So, yes, you might not be able to make elephants jump into your palm using a Magic Leap headgear just yet.

But what seems to the crux of the problem, you ask? Well, the fibre-optic technology which shines a laser through the fiber optic to display images in the real world isn’t working as well as expected. The company had been banking on their fiber scanning display to deliver a break-through mixed reality experience to consumers but the elements produced by the display seem to be blurrier and more jittery, according to a rare hands-on demo by the team at The Information.

Magic Leap was also of the opinion that this alleged breakthrough tech would enable them to reduce the size of their bulky headgear and fit the same technology into a spectacle form factor — something HoloLens is more close to achieving (I have a feeling I’m saying this a lot). It has now been given less priority and CEO Abovitz has termed it as an engineering trade-off in a recent interview. But since the release of this report, he has pretty defensive about the product.

The company has released an update statement on their official blog (most likely) to somehow turn the aforementioned observations for the headgear into what it might not be. Abovitz still didn’t shed light on the technical details of the revolutionary product but instead went on to lap about their vision and how they’re so-so-so close to realizing that vision. He even sent out a couple anxious tweets out in the open.

It has been a while since I wrote to you all about what’s been going on at Magic Leap. The team and I are humbled by the overwhelming interest and support for our vision and technology. All of us are pouring very long hours, heart, and soul into making something new – how we will enable your digital and physical worlds to come together in a very personal, social, and magical way.

The blog post further noted that their first glasses-based prototype or PEQ (Product Equivalent) has been completed and they’re currently testing the reliability and quality of the same internally. Once through, Magic Leap is going to gear up for a much larger production setup in the coming months.

Guess we’ll need to wait a little while more to get our hands on this revolutionary mixed reality technology and it better live up to the hype or the tech industry would be really disappointed. Magic Leap has minted over $1.4 billion at a $4.5 billion valuation from the likes of Google, Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, Qualcomm Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and even Warner Bros.

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