Magic Leap hands-on: Magic_ sure_ but augmented reality is still a long way away from mass consumption - News - Digital Arts

Here are two seemingly contradictory statements: 1 Magic Leap is veritably neat. 2 You perfectly should not buy one right now. Try one? Sure. But bestow over $2_000 to own one yourself? Doubtful_ even for soon adopters and gadget geeks.

Last week at the Game Developers Conference I finally had a chance to go hands-on with the Magic Leap One for the leading time. Then this week_ Magic Leap announced youll be able to purchase its debut headset in true ATamp;T stores starting in April here in the US_ crossing from a niche fruit intended for developers to a somewhat consumer-facing fruit.

Obviously Magic Leap didntnbsp;intend<_em>nbsp;for that timing to line up per se_ but it did. Thus what was initially intended to be a few scattered thoughts almost my demo now doubles as an informal purchasing recommendation. The brief rendering: Augmented verity quiet isnt prompt for the masses ndash; and it wont be for a while.

A vision of the forthcoming...

Its not for lack of trying. Magic Leap is_ and Im repeating this for effect_nbsp;veritably cool<_em>. I dont veritably know what took me so long to try it_ given my interest in possible verity and other dumb peripherals_ but its truely a step over Microsofts primary HoloLens kit. Note: PCWorlds Mike Simon hasnbsp;tried newly unveiled HoloLens 2_ though I havent yet.

Design-wise_ Magic Leaps a bit more confused than HoloLens. The headset itself is more snug_ but mainly owing its lighter-weight ndash; and its lighter-weight owing unlike HoloLens_ Magic Leap isnt wholely self-contained. A weighty and hot computer is contained in the Lightpack_ a round object that clips onto your belt or pocket and is tethered by a thin cable. Theres also a controller_ which is less high-tech but far more reliable than HoloLens gesture recollection.

At Unitys booth_ I demoed Weta Workshopsnbsp;Grordbattle<_em>nbsp;experience. Its a multiplayer extension of Wetas singleplayer game_nbsp;Dr. Grordbots Invaders ndash; <_em>though without that tenor_ I can say it played a lot like Oculuss saloon shootoutnbsp;Dead amp; Buried<_em>. Its a shooter_ with four players trying to shoot each other from behind cover.

This being AR and not VR however_ the Magic Leaps lenses are pellucid. Images are overlaid on the real globe_ essentially holograms that are perceptible only through the headset. Magic Leap seamlessly replaced the headsets or heads of my companion players with a cast of science invention characters_ and replaced their controllers with ray guns. Its not consummately opaque_ but Magic Leap is shining sufficient to fool the eye into thinking its seeing real objects. I even knocked into a pile of books at one point_ subconsciously thinking it was a hologram.

It wasnt_ and thats the crux of augmented verity of order. Magic Leap rendered the heads and guns_ but seething else was verity in the room. The boxes and barrels we took cover behind playingnbsp;Grordbattlenbsp;<_em>were developed boxes and barrels in the Unity booth. Magic Leap can recognise those items and recoil agreeably. We were shown_ for entreaty_ how tea spilled from a simulated AR teacup will splash on a real-life tabletop.

When those moments happen_ when digital interfaces with the real globe so seamlessly? The "Magic Leap" moniker feels well-earned. The artifice remains forcible even if you sort-of apprehend how its done. As far as leading-generation tech goes_ Magic Leap is damn exciting.

But its very much leading-generation tech.

...Compromised

Think of the possibilities<_em>. Thats been the forbear almost AR for years now. Imagine a game you can play anytime_ anywhere_ that uses the room youre in as the setting. Or conceive doing livelihood work on your car_ and your headset directs you step-by-step through see screw you need to establish and see wire you need to connect. Or conceive an art show you can interact with_ that you can extend out and touch or even change as you walk past.

These things exist. We have one of those art shows in San Francisco. Its namednbsp;The Unreal Garden<_em>_ and it was established here in San Francisco a few months ago by a company named Onedome_ right on Market Street. Its open to the open_ and it uses HoloLens kits. You can go_ if youd like.