The Leap one has taken the leap. But how’s the landing?
The highly coveted mysterious Magic Leap One has been released as of today, August 8th. The headset is not available all over, however, and can only be purchased in the following six locations: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco (Bay Area), and Seattle.
The device, which claims to be an evolutionary step forward in AR technology, comes with a steep asking price of over $2,200 for the basic package – plus more if you’re looking to purchase all of the addon goodies. So what makes this device so special?
If you ask the device’s creators (Or, more specifically, its website) you’ll be blown away by what this device claims it can do. Supposedly, the headset is capable of not only mapping the spatial position of a space around a user (Ex: A room), but remembering that space should a user leave it and move somewhere else. This allows a user to, for example, pull an AR beach ball out of their virtual backpack, place it on the floor, leave that room, use the restroom, and find that the ball is just where they left it when they return.
It also offers direct user interaction with AR objects – no handheld controllers needed. See that AR beach ball on the ground? Feel free to run up to it and give it a kick – if the website is to be trusted, it should respond and bounce all around your living room like any regular beach ball would – with the added benefit of not knocking any of your furniture over.
But now that the device has released, we don’t have to trust the website anymore. Instead, we can put our faith in customers and consumers like Scott Stien in his review piece on CNet.
Despite the title of the review indicating that the device left Stien with “mixed feelings”, what he actually means here is the device didn’t totally blow him away like it claimed it would when he first used it. Despite this, he still drew legendary tales of the advanced AR gaming experiences the Leap allows for, and calls it the best AR headset so far.
Stien’s biggest complaints with the device were limitations in the physics engine that caused created objects to feel like they were “floating” or “swimming” in air rather than tethered down by any kind of gravity, and the device’s limited Field of View when compared to that of VR headsets.
Stien also states that this device, in its current state, does not seem to be meant for consumers, and rather it is meant as a showpiece that other technology companies can use as a jumping point to advance the AR landscape or as a way for AR developers to prepare programs, games, apps and services that will see greater use once the release of the Magic Leap Two (Or whatever they end up calling it) rolls around.
Stien did, however, note that the device’s “room mapping” technology works almost exactly as advertised. He described his experience mapping his own room: After taking a quick 360-degree look, the device asked him to walk up to incomplete areas and figure everything out. That process was quick and very simple. Just a few moments later, the mapping process had been completed.
Then, Stein tried interacting with his mapped room.
“I try throwing a virtual rubber ball. It realistically hits the wall and the floor, and bounces off, rolling towards my CNET video crew. It rolls through them. It shows the limits of how aware the Magic Leap is of my space.”
The Magic Leap One isn’t the sci-fi time travel device that will instantly transport you into a world of wonderous new realities. But it is an impressive step forward for AR headsets, and it may put some pressure on larger tech complanies to develop a product with the same capabilities as the Leap One.
Featured Image Via Magic Leap One Official Site