Magic Leap’s smart glasses could start at £1,000

Magic Leap glasses that superimpose computer-generated images onto the world around you could start at at £1,000 when they are released this year.

Magic Leap, the secretive Google-backed company behind the gadget, says it is working on multiple versions in varying sizes and configurations.

The firm has said that consumers should expect a price similar to the iPhone X, which cost £1,000 ($1,000) when it was launched.

The Magic Leap One, a ‘creator edition’ version of the headset, is due to be available in the latter part of 2018.

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Smart glasses that superimpose computer-generated images onto the world around you could start at at £1,000 when they are released this year. Magic Leap, the usually secretive Google-backed company behind the gadget, says it is working on multiple versions of the gadget

Smart glasses that superimpose computer-generated images onto the world around you could start at at £1,000 when they are released this year. Magic Leap, the usually secretive Google-backed company behind the gadget, says it is working on multiple versions of the gadget

The comments were made by Rony Abovitz, CEO of the Plantation, Florida=based firm, in an interview at the Recode’s Code Media conference, held this week in Huntington Beach, California.

Magic Leap is planning on creating multiple editions of its augmented reality glasses, aimed at different levels of consumers and professionals.

The cheapest will start at a price similar to a high-end smartphone or table, Mr Abovitz says.

The Magic Leap One will be roughly at the mid-point of their product range.

Speaking at the conference, Mr Abovitz said: ‘We will have a product line in that price point probably for the company’s history, and we’ll probably have some above and we’ll have some below.

‘We’ll have even higher-end [versions] for hyper-pro, and then we’ll have wide mass-market products.’

Magic Leap also announced that details of a partnership with the NBA, alongside a video endorsement from former player Shaquille O’Neal screened at the conference.

O’Neal appeared to be wearing the largest size of the as-yet unreleased Magic Leap goggles. 

‘I watched a basketball game right here’, O’Neal says in the clip, pointing to a table. 

‘It was the most amazing thing.’

Previous reports have suggested that the Magic Leap One may be priced closer to £1,500 ($1,500) to £2,000 ($2,000).

HOW DO MAGIC LEAP’S LIGHTWEAR AUGMENTED REALITY HEADSETS WORK?

Magic Leap’s first device, Magic Leap One (Creator’s Edition), contains three components.

These are the Lightwear glasses, the Lightpack computing platform, and the Control handheld controller.

The Lightwear goggles use Digital Lightfield technology, which generates digital light at different depths.

 While they haven¿t yet said the exact date it will be released, or how much the device will cost, they say the devices will begin shipping in 2018

 While they haven’t yet said the exact date it will be released, or how much the device will cost, Magic Leap says its AR devices will begin shipping in the latter part of 2018

This blends with natural light to produce more lifelike objects over real world settings.

The Lightpack, the firm explains, is the ‘engine’ behind the spatial computing platform, with high-powered processing and graphics in a small, portable design.

And, the handheld controller will give users force control and haptic feedback, and allow for six degrees of freedom. 

Rival Microsoft’s development kit for its competing HoloLens headset currently sells a £3,000 ($3,000).

The tech firm unveiled its ‘mixed reality’ headset in December 2017. 

It’s Lightwear glasses are a far cry from the bulky, face-hugging platforms that have become popular in VR, instead using wraparound steampunk-style goggles.

The system is tethered to a tiny spatial computing ‘engine’, which is small enough to clip to the pocket of your jeans.

It will be available in two sizes, with components that can be customized to better fit the wearer, according to Rolling Stone.

This includes the forehead pad, nose pieces, and temple pads.

For users who wear glasses, Magic Leap will also be capable of incorporating prescription lenses. 

What it can do: Magic Leap has not revealed any footage from the glasses, but these mockups reveal they will do everything from shopping to gaming

Users will also be able to step into virtual meetings using digital avatars when they don the glasses

They will even be able to shoot aliens in their own living room

Users will also be able to step into virtual meetings using digital avatars when they don the glasses (left) and shoot aliens in their own living room (right)

The lightweight system relies on three pieces: the Lightwear glasses, the Lightpack computing platform, and the Control handheld controller.

According to Magic Leap, the Lightwear goggles use Digital Lightfield technology, which generates digital light at different depths.

This blends with natural light to produce more lifelike objects over real world settings.

‘This advanced technology allows our brain to naturally process digital objects the same way we do real-world objects, making it comfortable to use for long periods of time.’

In the headset, this is combined with environment mapping, precision tracking, and soundfield audio, for a more realistic experience, the firm notes.

The Lightpack, the firm explains, is the ‘engine’ behind the spatial computing platform, with high-powered processing and graphics in a small, portable design. 

Magic Leap¿s Lightwear device is a far cry from the bulky, face-hugging platforms that have become popular in VR, instead using wraparound steampunk-style goggles

Magic Leap’s Lightwear device is a far cry from the bulky, face-hugging platforms that have become popular in VR, instead using wraparound steampunk-style goggles

The firm unveiled the first details on the Magic Leap One Creator¿s Edition headset today, revealing a lightweight system that relies on three pieces: the Lightwear glasses, the Lightpack computing platform, and the Control handheld controller

The Lightpack, the firm explains, is the ¿engine¿ behind the spatial computing platform, with high-powered processing and graphics in a small, portable design

The firm unveiled the first details on the Magic Leap One Creator’s Edition headset in December 2017, revealing a lightweight system that relies on three pieces: the Lightwear glasses, the Lightpack computing platform, and the Control handheld controller

And, the handheld controller will give users force control and haptic feedback, and allow for six degrees of freedom.

Magic Leap One is equipped with a ‘robust sensor suite’ that can detect surface, planes, and objects, according to the firm.

This digitally recreates your surroundings, ‘allowing lightfield objects to not only exist in the physical world, but actually interact with it.’

Once you’ve put a Lightfield object somewhere, such as a virtual TV, it will stay put so you can revisit it later. 

The soundfield audio system will allow users to hear exactly where sounds are coming from, even as objects become closer or more distant.

The firm says it will launch a Creator Portal early in 2018, giving developers the resources that will help them get the most out of the platform.

The firm was recently granted a patent for what appeared to be their AR glasses, sparking fresh rumours in summer 2017. But, at the time, they said the design was not what would be used for the final Magic Leap headset

The firm was recently granted a patent for what appeared to be their AR glasses, sparking fresh rumours in summer 2017. But, at the time, they said the design was not what would be used for the final Magic Leap headset

‘Rony Abovitz and the team’s “Creator Edition” will give the world its first glimpse of Magic Leap’s approach to lightfield display technology in 2018, showing what they’ve been able to deliver after years of hard work and massive investment,’ said Menlo Park based AR/VR adviser Tim Merel, Managing Director of Digi-Capital, speaking in December.

‘Lightfield is the star of the show, where Magic Leap joins other early players like Avegant.

‘Magic Leap’s “Creator Portal” will give developers the chance to experiment with the power of lightfield, leading to a flood of innovation around new use cases and UX.’ 

Magic Leap has been subject to speculation for months, as they continued to remain tight-lipped about the ‘mixed reality’ device.

The firm was granted a patent for what appeared to be their AR glasses, sparking fresh rumours in summer 2017.

The patent drawings depicted somewhat bulky-looking glasses with cameras on both arms and what appears to be two pairs of lenses stacked on top of each other.

In a twist, the document was for ‘virtual reality glasses.’

This came as a surprise to many, as Magic Leap has previously released demonstration videos depicting augmented reality.

However, VR and AR are used interchangeably enough that the glasses could still be used for augmented reality experiences, and technical details were lacking from the design patent.

A previous Magic Leap demonstration showed a solar system appearing in front of a user. The glasses are set to compete with Microsoft's HoloLens glasses and cost around $1,000

A previous Magic Leap demonstration showed a solar system appearing in front of a user. The glasses are set to compete with Microsoft’s HoloLens glasses and cost around $1,000

While the patent states that Magic Leap applied for it in September 2015 and that Magic Leap is the assignee, the company denied it depicts its actual glasses.

A Magic Leap spokesperson told Business Insider at the time that these are not Magic Leap’s product.

‘As you know, we file lots of patents that take a long time to get approved and so what you are looking at is not our product,’ she said. 

Unnamed sources with knowledge of the company’s hardware said the design is close in appearance but that the real design is bigger and bulkier.

This has now been confirmed, with the reveal of the slim new headset. 

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF MAGIC LEAP’S AUGMENTED REALITY GLASSES?

In October 2015, secretive tech firm Magic Leap announced it had raised $542 million (£390m) in funding, led by Google.

Other investors included Qualcomm, the world’s leading phone chipmaker, Andreessen Horowitz, KKR, and Legendary Entertainment.

Now others including Alibaba are now on-board.

After seven years of development the Plantation, Florida, as of December 2017 the company had raised $1.9bn (£1.4bn) of investment.

Unlike VR headsets, Magic Leap is a ‘mixed reality’ device, so, the user is able to see through the glass, called the ‘photonic lightfield chip.’ 

Insiders who have tried the glasses said that while smaller than VR headsets, they glasses are on the bulkier side and like swim goggles with large lenses. This suggest patents (pictured) may show an older version that has already been scrapped

Insiders who have tried the glasses said that while smaller than VR headsets, they glasses are on the bulkier side and like swim goggles with large lenses. This suggest patents (pictured) may show an older version that has already been scrapped

Investors and other insiders who have tried the top-secret glasses said that while smaller than VR headsets, the glasses are on the bulkier side and like swim goggles with large lenses.

They are larger than Snapchat’s Spectacles, they said.

Those demo units were said to have a large battery pack the size of two iPhones stacked on top of each other attached and able to be placed in the wearer’s pocket.

A separate component, meant to be worn on a belt, contained the GPU and CPU and was about the size of a portable CD player.

This investor look was in spring 2017, which indicated the glasses depicted in patents may be an older version that has already been scrapped.

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