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Magic Leap Finally Unveils Mixed-Reality Goggles (rollingstone.com) 79

Joosy writes: After raising $1.9 billion dollars, Magic Leap finally shows off it's "mixed-reality" goggles. Was the wait worth it? Rolling Stone gets a look: "The revelation, the first real look at what the secretive, multi-billion dollar company has been working on all these years is the first step toward the 2018 release of the company's first consumer product. It also adds some insight into why major companies like Google and Alibaba have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into Magic Leap, and why some researchers believe the creation could be as significant as the birth of the Internet."

Brian Crecente recalls his first experience with Magic Leap's technology: "This first, oversized demo dropped me into a science-fiction world, playing out an entire scene that was, in this one case, augmented with powerful, hidden fans, building-shaking speakers and an array of computer-controlled, colorful lighting. It was a powerful experience, demonstrating how a theme park could potentially craft rides with no walls or waits. Most importantly, it took place among the set-dressing of the stage -- the real world props that cluttered the ground and walls around me -- and while it didn't look indistinguishable from reality, it was close. To see those creations appearing not on the physical world around me, as if it were some sort of animated sticker, but in it, was startling..."

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Magic Leap Finally Unveils Mixed-Reality Goggles

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  • Show me the videos (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 20, 2017 @08:09PM (#55780197)

    because a slideshow with some still images is nothing more than vaporware.

    • Agreed. I was thinking the same thing. Point a camera through the lens and show us what it looks like through the glasses, not a rendered-image slideshow.

      • by thomst ( 1640045 ) on Wednesday December 20, 2017 @10:47PM (#55780793) Homepage

        Tomahawk demanded:

        Point a camera through the lens and show us what it looks like through the glasses, not a rendered-image slideshow.

        So I both looked at the Magic Leap web page - which features the "slideshow" you're complaining about - and read the rather long Rolling Stone article to which TFS points.

        Yes, I know. Very un-slashdotty of me. I am obviously "not of the Body".

        Reading the article first (including the bit where the author, obviously parroting a recorded statement from the interviews he conducted during his tour, talks about "a ray" of photonic computing structures, which makes it plain that he has no fucking clue about chip design and fabrication) greatly helped me to visualize what ML was trying to present on their home page. The page alone was certainly not at all impressive, but the Rolling Stone reporter's description of his experience with the beta ML1 - and especially the interactive quad sound that tracks virtual objects in the headset wearer's field of view - makes it pretty clear that a video "shot through the goggles" wouldn't necessarily convey that experience a whole lot better than the "slideshow" does. It would, however, put a huge demand on their servers, and probably be laggy as all hell the day they announced their forthcoming product, neither of which would be positives from the perspective of a company that's gone from stealth mode to full visibility on the web in a single announcement.

        I do recommend the article, despite its shortcomings (some of which are a consequence of the NDA provisions under which the author labored). The product itself, and the technology ML has created to make it possible, are, in fact, potentially game-changing for interactive computing - albeit probably not in the short term. It's pretty clear that the ML1 will be strictly for developers and rich fucks who can afford to drop the price of a collectable guitar on what will essentially be a toy. The second and third generations are where the real effect on general computing will occur (if at all), after the initial capabilities of the device are seriously enhanced and the price drops from nosebleed territory to something at least marginally affordable to the masses.

        That said, it seems like a reasonable bet to wager they'll make it that far. The founder put up a huge amount of his own money to get the company to the point where they had the tech taped down well enough to present it to Google, et al., and they've apparently been pouring cash into ML ever since. It's clearly not a scam, because you don't build a production-level chip fab just to hoodwink the rubes. And ML has constructed such a fab in the basement of their headquarters.

        Rainbow's End might not be that far away, after all ...

        • It sounds exciting. The limited field of view is the biggest hardware issue. It sounds like they have reached “The mother of all demos” stage. It took 20 years for that tech to reach the mainstream, but when it did the world changed around it. What they are describing has the same level of potential, but how long will it take for them to hit the mainstream, and can they stay solvent that long?

      • by slick7 ( 1703596 )

        Agreed. I was thinking the same thing. Point a camera through the lens and show us what it looks like through the glasses, not a rendered-image slideshow.

        The true mixed-reality is that politicians are here to serve the taxed. That is, the magic leap.

  • But I'm more interested in a replacement for conventional displays, not a new AR-based gaming system. I'd love to see this thing running the Meta 2 Workspace.

  • Long article that doesn't say much of anything. We have VR its not hot people dont care about it much. Im guessing this isn't much different other then its looks better to wear.Its not life changing tech though maybe for the handicapped??
    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      Yea, when the story was submitted I started reading it, then skimmed it and it seemed like a puff piece with no more idea about what Magic Leap is doing than before. The only thing I did find out is they managed to make goggles that look even more dorky than any existing AR/VR headset.
      • You haven't seen very many AR/VR headsets then. I used to be into this stuff in the early 90's and they looked like you were wearing a microwave oven on your head with a couple of motherboards, hard drives and toasters wired in.
    • by Kremmy ( 793693 )
      Think ya'll missed the part where it's so hot that this company received an enormous amount of funding from tech giants.
      The future that I've been dreaming of since I was a child is happening, right, now.
      But I'm not going to try to convince you of that.
      I don't think there's much point in doing the imagining for others.
      • The future you have been dreaming of since you were a child exists in a marketing brochure produced by a start-up that is still starting up and has yet to actually produce something more than a sombrero sized monstrosity and some 3D renderings.

      • Missed the point? what point please. what does it do?what is it designed FOR? that long winded article didn't tell me zip so please feel free to fill in the information gaps. And BTW have you ever herd of the Segway? World changing technology millions of investors......hasn't changed a thing. great idea, just not useful in real world use.
      • No offense but you haven't tried it yet. And the very first use case they listed was "Magic Leap One allows web developers to optimize for content extraction and spatial browsing, enabling new ways to shop and explore with 3D objects." That's not very compelling, which web developer would optimize for an unknown number of ML wearers? And if they make a web site that's targeting ML users only, what will it do? "Enabling new ways to shop" sounds very tired.

        I don't want to piss on what looks like an incredible

    • AR is very different (Score:5, Informative)

      by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday December 20, 2017 @09:14PM (#55780469)

      We have VR its not hot people dont care about it much.

      A) That's not really a true, there is a pretty good subset of people that like VR. However...

      B) AR is much different than VR, simply because you can really see your surroundings with a computer overlay. That makes it far more practical to use for most people as they don't have to clear out a giant empty space for it in order to move, and potentially movement could be unlimited. The best AR systems can "see" your environment so they can skin anything around you to complete the illusion you are somewhere else, so for instance your entire house could become a zombie-hunting scenario with zombies behind random doors... much cooler than a VR scenario where you are just exploring without touch a pre-baked environment.

      Or imagine sitting at a table and having virtual people sitting all around you, talking with you as if they were there.

      The hololens is already really good at this, but has currently a limited field of view and is very expensive. It seems like the tech in Magic Leap has a much better FOV, and also much better effective resolution.

      There's really room in the world for both things, VR and AR are kind of for different things. But like I said AR is really much more practical for most people and I think will thus be wildly more popular than VR has been.

      • So its got business usefulness but cost will determine if its excepted. cant see any use for this in the home. already have plenty of internet video communication tech far cheaper to.Sounds as useful as google glasses..or the Segway. Or gaming but again VR not changing the gaming world. they do look better though lol
        • So its got business usefulness but cost will determine if its excepted. cant see any use for this in the home.

          Yes it's business useful but it's actually even more useful for the house. Microsoft had a bunch of demos about how you could be told how to repair things right in front of you looking at both instructions and what you needed to repair, for example. Again for games, it would be huge to have things like this. It's a different kind of gaming but fundamentally more interactive than even VR because y

          • Tablet,youtube you will find thousands and of videos on how to repair just about everything you can imagine. So not even close to being useful at home, maybe if it were 100 bucks or less sure but no one going to spend what i can guess is well over a grand for those glasses and most stuff you buy for the home is unrepairable in the first place. im 60 been home repairing for 45 of them. No i would never ever waste that kinda money for that use.the people who could afford it would just hire a repairman. sure
            • by jezwel ( 2451108 )

              .the people who could afford it would just hire a repairman.

              The repairmen are a target audience - much easier to have repair manuals aligned with the work you are doing, in your field of view, showing you what to do, than having to either remember it or look away at a book.
              There are many jobs where not needing to use your hands to see a reference would be very useful.

              I can see there being several dozen or more of these in our business already, for bridge inspectors - and that's my first thought, we have a lot of others where it could be useful.

              • Funny the story never said who the product whatever it is was targeted at repairmen..... and remember google glasses? if a repairmen came to my home and had to wear a set of them googles to figure out how to repair something i would kick his ass out my house......
        • by vix86 ( 592763 )

          cant see any use for this in the home

          The use case for this is to ultimately replace all of your displays. No more phones, no more tablets, no more TVs, or computer monitors. These will be able to project displays into your field of view. They will be able to give you a persistent HUD right in front of you. You'll still have a phone/mobile computer for cellular, wifi, and simple touch controls. Will they be expensive? The initial product will be I'm sure, but they'll probably get down to the price of a regular smartphone in no time.

          Once they sh

          • Remember google glasses? They were going to replace all them things as well, they failed.... badly. This will for the very same reasons no one wants to walk around wearing anything on their faces to live their lives. great dreams you people have but they are not practical at all. people what to touch,feel smell who the heck want an empty home till you put glasses on?? it might be ok for gaming/design but will never take hold in the home. Think for a minute why would people want to be tied to a pare of glass
            • by vix86 ( 592763 )

              This will for the very same reasons no one wants to walk around wearing anything on their faces to live their lives

              Weird, I and millions of other people do that every day. They're called glasses, we use them to see the world. You have entire families that buy them for themselves and their kids as well.

              Think for a minute why would people want to be tied to a piece of glass to watch tv, read the news, browse the internet, and talk to friends???????

              Your counter argument could have just as easily been used in the early days of smartphones and look where we are now. The ML style AR will replace smartphones when its as compact as regular glasses.

              • HAHHAHAHHA ...knew some ...would say that. they are not even in the same universe..where are google glasses BTW they were saposta replace cell phone/smartphones TOO??"Failed" please lol...When i buy glasses they actually make my life better those are nothing but toys people will never need why would non glass wearer now start to wear glasses to make phone calls?HAHAHHAHA again they will find a use but it wont change the world and will be a nitch product gaming is its only hope and VR isnt dont much on that
      • by Luthair ( 847766 )

        B) AR is much different than VR, simply because you can really see your surroundings with a computer overlay. That makes it far more practical to use for most people as they don't have to clear out a giant empty space for it in order to move, and potentially movement could be unlimited. The best AR systems can "see" your environment so they can skin anything around you to complete the illusion you are somewhere else, so for instance your entire house could become a zombie-hunting scenario with zombies behind random doors... much cooler than a VR scenario where you are just exploring without touch a pre-baked environment.

        While I agree that AR is different than VR, I think that its actually much less useful for individuals. Attempting to create a game that interacts with the environment makes it difficult or impossible to tell a story, plus your personal experience will have had no play testing. You also still need to clear a space since anything overlayed on reality will prevent you from observing hazards.

        For corporations there is potential for instruction, renovation or hands free computing but otherwise VR seems to have m

        • Attempting to create a game that interacts with the environment makes it difficult or impossible to tell a story. plus your personal experience will have had no play testing.

          There is disagree - what about something like no-mans sky for example? Such a game has to be fully procedural but can work.

          There's actually already an example of a game like this that works really well, called Zombie 5k. It's audio only but it is a run tracker that knows how far you've gone, and triggers in-game story events when cer

          • No one is really arguing that VR/AR aren't a great idea, it's just that the reality doesn't match up to the hype yet.
          • by Luthair ( 847766 )

            There is disagree - what about something like no-mans sky for example? Such a game has to be fully procedural but can work.

            Wait.... you're pointing at No Man's Sky of all things as a positive thing? You realize that game bombed and was universally panned.

            • That was because of pacing of the game mechanics itself. The actual technology used to generate planets dynamically worked pretty well. Another game that used procedural generation heavily was Horizon Zero Dawn, and that was NOT panned. NMS was just the broadest example of the tech.

    • AR uses similar technology to VR, but is actually useful. It's also harder, because you have to track the real world and put things seamlessly into it. If you get a chance to play with a Microsoft Hololens, you can see the limitations of the current technology in some of the simple demos: you can put a virtual object in the room, and it will be occluded by nearby objects, but when you get sufficiently far away from it (3 metres or so?) then objects between the range of its depth sensor and the virtual loc

  • LOTS of unanswered questions about MR (Mixed Reality) -- almost enough to go Meh:

    The viewing space is about the size of a VHS tape held in front of you with your arms half extended. It's much larger than the HoloLens, but itâ(TM)s still there.

    * Article mentioned a narrow FOV (Field of View) Is 10 degrees? 30 degrees? 60 Degrees?

    hoping to solve was the discomfort that some experience while using virtual reality headsets

    So did they solve the naseau?

    "We're not moving electrons around with transistors; we

  • But holy christ they look silly.

    • by mentil ( 1748130 )

      What it really reminded me of is Falcon's headgear from the last Avengers film.

    • So do a bunch of people walking around staring at smart phones. But it seems to be all the rage today to the point that you look silly if you're not doing that.
  • Snapchat called, they want their spectacles back.
  • Comparing this to the birth of the internet? Bullshit sensors went straight to 11.

  • Unfortunately there is no video in the article, yet it sounds like a high-end, glasses-based upgrade to Apple’s ARKit. The latter is actually already pretty cool (you can find cool youtube videos of someone finding a portal door to a parallel world), and while I see it mainly great for gaming, Ikea actually makes some of its furniture visible in AR, that is useful.
  • Their barmaids [youtube.com] must be incredibly realistic! LOL.
  • http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/12/20/magic_leap

  • from the sound of it this would have been great groundbreaking tech.... 5 years ago. seems pretty meh.. more of the same now.
  • The key point I got from the article is that they are creating or trying to create an artificial light field emitter. If this is true, the implications are staggering. Having a light field emitter would pretty much solve all hard visual problems like depth, resolution, lens artifacts etc. found in the classical systems like Rift and Vive. So if this is really what they are making, then I can easily see why they got the big bucks.

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