back to article Magic Leap blows our mind with its incredible technology... that still doesn't f**king exist

It has kept everyone waiting but Magic Leap has finally revealed that… there are still publications stupid enough to keep printing its bullshit. This time around it is the desperate-to-please tech arm of Rolling Stone, Glixel. Glixel shuttered its San Francisco office earlier this year: a loss for tech journalism but a golden …

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  1. Thoguht Silver badge

    A simple explanation

    That "processor unit" looks far more like some kind of storage flask. So that's not a cable connecting it to the headpiece, but instead a tube. And the headpiece is really all about the wide side-pieces, which conceal hundreds of microscopic needles that painlessly pierce the thin skin on the sides of the head to deliver a steady stream of Magic Lethe™, a genetically-engineered psychotropic visual stimulant. No wonder it all looks so realistic to the wearer.

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: A simple explanation

      Ooops:

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/12/21/google-backed-magic-leap-reveals-1500-mixed-reality-goggles/

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: A simple explanation

      Magic Lethe

      I thought I told you to forget about that..

  2. Kaltern Silver badge

    I believe it does have 6 sensors, high-definition optics and amazing depth perception, coupled with the best CPU around right now, with at least 6 cores.

    Your head.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Your head.

      I must have the latest model, since mine contains eight (arguably nine) sensors to evaluate external conditions and many, many more to measure internal inputs.

      1. Craig McGill 1

        How many?

        Two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, skin, tongue - so what's the ninth? Unless you are counting the different taste receptors in your mouth...

        1. MonkeyNuts.Com

          Re: How many?

          Hair on your head

          1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

            Re: How many?

            Ears are both sound and balance sensors. The skin is a temperature sensor.

  3. David Webb

    Or.....

    If I were them (and I'm not), I'd simply get a Windows Mixed Reality device, rebrand it, plug it into a cheap Chinese Windows tablet and go "here it is!".

    I use the Dell Mixed Reality Device, the mixed reality being uhh, umm, just VR, but it's bloody awesome (and this is from someone who thought VR was a bit meh), obviously won't say it's better than the Vive/Rift because thems fightin words but it's pretty nice and would probably make an interesting article on The Reg, MS's first foray into the VR world with a pretty compelling product that isn't vapourware or hideously expensive and runs on lower end hardware.

    1. cb7

      Re: Or.....

      "MS's first foray into the VR world with a pretty compelling product that isn't vapourware or hideously expensive and runs on lower end hardware."

      Really? Are we talking about the same beast? I tried running MS' Mixed Reality app that appeared on my Win10 machines recently.

      It failed to run on both the desktop (i7-6700K, 32GB RAM & AMD 7850 Gfx) and the laptop (i5-7200U, 12GB RAM),citing inadequate gfx.

      1. Baldrickk Silver badge

        Re: Or.....

        windows-mixed-reality-minimum-pc-hardware-compatibility-guidelines

        Graphics Card:

        Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PCs

        NVIDIA GTX 960/1050 (or greater) DX12-capable discrete GPU

        AMD RX 460/560 (or greater) DX12-capable discrete GPU

        GPU must be hosted in a PCIe 3.0 x4+ Link slot Integrated Intel® HD Graphics 620 (or greater)

        Windows Mixed Reality PCs

        DX12-capable integrated GPU (check if your model is greater)

        NVIDIA MX150/965M (or greater) DX12-capable discrete GPU

        Where does the spec say that your 7850 should be capable of running this?

        It doesn't meet the requirements for an "ultra" Pc, and your entire manufaturer isn't listed for the non-ultra option.

        This is a comparison of your card, the (high)mid-range card from 2010 I recently gave away for free, and my current (compatiable) card.

        The 7850 is underpowered and not compatiable, and almost 6 years old, predating the occulus rift kickstarter. Note that it only supports DirectX 11.2

        Sorry to burst your bubble, but it was never going to be enough for VR, as VR needs more grunt.

      2. soulrideruk Bronze badge

        Re: Or.....

        Wait... You are complaining about Microsoft, because their app wouldn't run on your system? The fault is entirely your own.

        Even the most cursory of online searches would have told you an AMD 7850 and an integrated graphics in a laptop are nowhere near the minimum requirements for VR or Mixed Reality.

        AMD recommend at least a Radeon RX470 for VR/MR/AR. That's a 2016 card. Why would you expect a card from Jan 2012 to run VR?

        Seriously... do you always go around blaming companies as being crap when it is clearly not them that are the problem?

      3. Sil

        Re: Or.....

        What did you expect with a 7850?

        https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/mixed-reality/enthusiast-guide/windows-mixed-reality-minimum-pc-hardware-compatibility-guidelines

        There's an app you can use to check compatibility before purchasing a headset:

        https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/windows-mixed-reality-pc-check/9nzvl19n7cnc

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: Or.....

          Going off on a tangent, I expect with these goggles that use PC / GPU to do the grunt work, that there will be risk of quiting bare minimumn specs - much as used to happen with PC games back in the day, where game claimed to run on your kit that (just) hit the spec ()having been massively over spec a year previous.., but when you tried it, the chunky graphics and slow frame rate made it worthless.

          I hope headset people learn and recommend "minimum spec" taht will actually cope with what teh game devs will throw at it.

          .. Long sonce switched to console gaming as not forever playing hardware catchup to run new releases that way.

    2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Or.....

      Just to add to cb7s comment, exactly what is the minimum spec GPU for a MRD?

      I rent out one of my mining workstations to a local company whenever they have a demo*. That's got a pair of 1080tis, which is clearly overkill, and they have a 1070 in their office for day to day use.

      Neither of those would really count as "lower end" and even the next tier down (1060 or a 580) is still over 200 a piece. Even a 1050ti with 4Gb is about 150.

      * architect firm, virtual tours using a holo lens

      1. Tom Browett
        Joke

        Re: Or.....

        "mining workstations"... I hold you personally responsible for the exorbitant cost of this mid-range+ GPU.

  4. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Any of these seem to work in this situation...

    "A fool and his money are soon parted"

    "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." -Abraham Lincoln

    "There's a sucker born every minute." -misattributed to P.T. Barnum

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Any of these seem to work in this situation...

      @ Marketing Hack

      If you write "-misattributed" then the same probably goes for Lincoln too, not that it matters at all.

      Some interesting stuff about it here:

      http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/161924

      Some good marketing stuff but also a claim "Its earliest use was in French in 1684 in Traité de la Vérité de la Religion Chrétienne,a work of apologetics by Jacques Abbadie, a French Protestant.

      My theory, a work in progress, is that it was first used by a angry camel buyer in a used camel shop some three thousand years ago in the Middle East, something he got from a Chinaman but forgot about.

      1. nichomach

        Re: Any of these seem to work in this situation...

        Reminds me of...

    2. VulcanV5
      Happy

      Re: Any of these seem to work in this situation...

      @ ""You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." -Abraham Lincoln."

      How profound. As indeed is that other famous observation of his:

      "Just because you read it on the Internet doesn't mean it's true."

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    TL:DR. BS technology company continues to peddle BS technology which is

    Bu***hit.

    The good new for ML (not to be confused with Machine Learning, although that can be difficult at times) is there are a near infinite number of "tech" website or bloggers who are keen (or desperate) enough for an "exclusive" they can recyle this routine ad nausiem

    Any bets on "Next Big Future"?

    1. TReko

      Re: TL:DR. BS technology company continues to peddle BS technology which is

      The need to ad some sort of crypto-currency spin on this to reach peak hype.

      Perhaps the VR will allow you to see your stacks of crypto-gold and swim in them like Scrooge McDuck.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: TL:DR. BS technology company continues to peddle BS technology which is

        For peak hype (and even more favourable coverage) here at El Reg, surely it needs a DevoPS angle?

        Are we not men?

        We are DevoPS.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: TL:DR. BS technology company continues to peddle BS technology which is

          Yes, and throw in Machine Learning, AI and 'Big Data' then all your buzzwords are there. Oh and maybe a mention 'Advanced Persistent Threats'... because why not?

          1. Jason 24

            Re: TL:DR. BS technology company continues to peddle BS technology which is

            Can I fight the Advanced Persistent Threats with this head set?

            That would make firewall configuration much more interesting.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: TL:DR. BS technology company continues to peddle BS technology which is

            And be sure to "surface" the USP while "reaching out" for more info.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "not to be confused with Machine Learning,"

      Or "Self tuning multi layer neural networks*," which is AFAIK what all of them have turned out to be.

      But that doesn't sound nearly so magical as machines learning does it?

      But for real cleverness let's have some machine understanding of WTF they are "learning."

  6. ecofeco Silver badge
    Facepalm

    What's in a name?

    Has nobody ever taken a moment to think about their name?

    They are NEVER going to deliver. It's an investor scam. A pump and dump.

    Vaporware.

  7. jakeisatwat

    Sitting on the fence

    Come on El Reg, tell us what you really think. The article seemed somewhat ambivalent.

    1. IR

      Re: Sitting on the fence

      The article could have been replaced by a single sentence.

      "Ze goggles do nothing."

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not just Abovitz who's too far in......

    Some of the investor managers will hang for this as well, which means they'll stay stum and pray it turns around.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A few weeks ago Ortoz from Gadget Show was having fun messing around with some VR stuff in a trade show - conclusion was it's getting better and cheaper each time but still needs that killer app. No need for any MagicLeap

    1. David Webb

      Gadget Show? They never got around to changing the name to "the show where if we have a comparison of any item, anything Apple wins"? Sure, name isn't as catchy but it's a bit more accurate.

      As for the killer app for VR, does it really need one? It's an entertainment device used to enhance entertainment. Playing Elite Dangerous makes the world feel more alive and realistic, with the actual ship feeling life sized rather than a little box on a monitor. Did VCR or DVD or Blu-Ray have killer apps? No, they enhanced entertainment by allowing the consumption of entertainment, so if you put a VR headset into the same frame as other playback devices, it doesn't need a killer app, just needs to keep having gentle iterations until the headset is as thin as a pair of large glasses with wide FOV and massive resolution at a respectable price.

      Anyone journalist who thinks a media playback device requires a killer app should remember the last "killer app" that a media playback device had, 3D, that was killer... of 3D in TV's.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        "As for the killer app for VR, does it really need one?"

        If it's to be anything other than a specialty gaming peripheral, then yes, it needs a killer app. That is, it needs a use case for the ordinary person that is strong enough to overcome the inconveniences that it brings.

        Right now, there is no such use case that I'm aware of. It's pretty much why I am completely uninterested in VR -- it's really cool, yes, and if I were a gamer, I might be excited about it. But I'm not, so it has no actual use for me aside from being a cool tech demo.

      2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Gadget Show Apple bias,....

        ... I am blocked from the Gadget Show Facebook page. How did I earn this ban, you may well ask. Word counting their articles. Simply, I went through a bunch of reviews they had published about Samsung phones, and counted the number of times they used the word 'Samsung' and 'Apple'. In every review I checked, they used the word 'Apple' more times than 'Samsung'. Clearly they are promoting the Apple brand, and when called out on it, banned me.

        Although one correction to your post, when the Gadget Show first reviewed the iPhone, they put it in a head to head with the Nokia N95, and the Nokia won. In a fit of revisionism, they later said they were wrong, and hadn't seen the future or some BS. No, TGS, the first iPhone was crap. You can't look at an iPhone 4 (about the time of their retraction), and say that it's features now meant the first iPhone was better than it actually was.

        1. Craig McGill 1

          Re: Gadget Show Apple bias,....

          Purely as a side-step, the N95 was a great phone but man did Nokia screw the pooch with the follow-up...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Gadget Show Apple bias,....

          As a phone the N95 was a much better device for sure. I didn’t go iPhone till the 5.

      3. Tony Paulazzo

        ...until the headset is as thin as a pair of large glasses with wide FOV and massive resolution at a respectable price.

        And I cannot fucking wait! Happy Christmas El Reg - keep up the balanced reporting <3

        The killer app for VR is porn, it's always been porn :) The internet wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for jiggly bits.

        1. Simon Rockman

          The problem with Magic Leap and Hololens is restricted field of view, and for porn you want the experience to be properly immersive.

      4. Charles 9 Silver badge

        "Did VCR or DVD or Blu-Ray have killer apps?"

        VCR let you record shows, meaning you weren't a slave to the schedule.

        DVD didn't need lengthy hit-and-miss seeking plus took up less space.

        Blu-ray was designed for and dovetailed nicely with HDTVs.

      5. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Did VCR or DVD or Blu-Ray have killer apps?

        Time-shifting was a "killer" application of VCRs. That radically changed how many people consumed television. It dramatically altered television programming and advertising. Anyone who watched television programming even in moderation in the pre- and post-VCR eras ought to know that; anyone who didn't (and hasn't studied the history) probably shouldn't be commenting on it.

        The "killer" application of DVDs was the shift of commercial film releases from VCR tapes to DVDs, which drove DVD-player sales - though those already had a toehold due to video-game consoles.

        There has yet to be a killer application of Blu-Ray, which is just more DVD. It's popular with consumers who want that, and ignored by those who don't.

        Frankly, I don't see a killer application for VR/AR, except in some specific industrial domains. I first saw a working VR implementation at SIGGRAPH 1989. I thought it was a gimmick then, and none of the subsequent demos, applications, or speculative pieces I've seen have changed my mind. Even if Magic Leap produces a product that does everything they claim, it won't change how I use computers.

  10. Chad H.

    Despite all of that, you still think they're going to deliver a product? Interesting.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      I think they'll deliver a product, if only because they want to avoid the tidal wave of lawsuits if they don't. I also think that product will likely be terrible. Almost certainly not as good as the other VR gear yo can buy right now.

      1. J. Cook Bronze badge
        Holmes

        Easy answer for lawsuits...

        ... declare bankruptcy and fold the company. If it's done right, the CEO scam artist walks away with the boodle and rides off into the sunset on some island with non-existent extradition laws.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hololens with lightfield simulation

    If they can manage to deliver a simulated lightfield in real time using current GPU technology, it'll be better than Hololens and well worth using. That's a big IF for the real time simulated lightfield which would have to be generated and change with and also be composited with a real-time sampled, dynamically changing real environment. To make it less of a mess of huge, horrible 3d pixels/voxels bouncing about and not adjusting fast enough, they'd need to create a f*ckoff gaming pc of truly staggering graphics capability which would also have to fit into a very small fannypack. Sure it can happen sometime in the future, question is whether it's possible now. Maybe a solution which includes a huge bunch of custom cuda cores? nVidia do seem to be delivering 1080-like performance in a tiny form factor for laptops, so this isn't beyond the realms of possibility in terms of technology. That being said who's going to pay 10k to be an early adopter? Given the guy's previous 1.2 billion dollar robotic arm for surgeons track history (company sale price), This Magic Eye isn't pie in the sky and the Reg's take on this is too cynical.

    1. Blank Reg Silver badge

      Re: Hololens with lightfield simulation

      Hololens is already far too expensive for the masses, and this looks to be even more expensive. That's not a recipe for mass adoption, it would end up a niche product like HoloLens.

      And this thing looks even dorkier than the snapchat classes, an no one wanted to be seen wearing those.

      1. Agamemnon
        Alien

        Re: Hololens with lightfield simulation

        Riddick goes Virtual.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hololens with lightfield simulation

        "Hololens is already far too expensive for the masses,"

        Hololens V1 was never meant for the masses. Watch this space...

    2. Schultz
      Boffin

      Re: Hololens with lightfield simulation

      I spot a little problem with your 'simulated lightfield': if it is simulated than it is not real and nobody will see it. Better go with real light. That one interfaces really well with those light sensors in the human head.

    3. erikscott

      Re: Hololens with lightfield simulation

      This doesn't sound impossible, but definitely hard. It's fundamentally a lightfield camera in reverse - COTS from Lytro, but making an image is harder than recording one in this case. There's a three-way tradeoff between cost, planar resolution, and depth resolution. I'm curious what they've chosen to optimize for. Also, I thought I remembered, and Wikipedia quasi-confirmed, a mash up of a lightfield camera and a lightfield illuminator on a microscope. So the illumination part has been done, albeit I'm pretty sure with a glacial framerate, maybe measured in something other than seconds. The backpack might contain a computer, or it might be something like gigabit ethernet over 60GHz microwave to a killer machine and graphics card(s), or a board full of FPGAs, or who knows what. It'll be interesting to see the price point they hit, and if they have to subsidize the first ones while they continue to design out some cost. This is just tantalizingly plausible enough...

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