My first thought on looking at the pictures is that Magic Leap have actually created something which looks dumber than Google Glass. The Magic Leap One might actually actually make up for its looks with functionality, though. From the article, a description of one of the demos:
My first was a visit with Gimble, a floating robot that hovered in the mid-field between my eyes and a distant wall. I walked up to it, around it, viewed it from different angles – and it remained silently hovering in my view. The world around it still existed, but I couldn’t see through it. It was as if it had substance, volume – not at all a flat image. […] Getting close to the floating object didn’t expose pixels; it highlighted details I wasn’t able to see from afar.
I’d really, really like to get a demo of one of these sets1. Without actually trying it it sounds almost unbelievable.
Another interesting point is that the technology being used here is very different to the stereoscopic 3D used in current generation VR headsets. That tricks the eyes using two shifted images2. This is actually “hacking” the signal received by the eyes to trick the brain into seeing things which aren’t there.
Once this tech gets good enough for use in consumer augmented reality, virtual reality is likely to be next3. Then when someone puts this inside a contact lens, we’re getting into serious sci-if territory. Whether that territory is more Star Trek or more Black Mirror remains to be seen.
- The same goes for Microsoft’s Hololens and the Meta. ↩
- In much the same way that 3D movies and those old blue/red 3D pictures do. ↩
- It might be counter intuitive, but in some ways I think virtual reality is more demanding than augmented reality. AR needs to render less, and can full back to the real world to fill in the gaps. It can (probably) also get away with a smaller field of view for much the same reasons. ↩