back to article AR upstart Magic Leap reveals majorly late tech specs' tech specs

Augmented reality unicorn Magic Leap has finally revealed the specifications of its upcoming AR headset, and promises it will be available this summer. It also put out another video demonstrating the system at work, showing how developers will be able to place moving content so it appears to exist in the real world. Having …

  1. redpawn Silver badge

    I've already got mine

    and when I look around, some of the 2D and 3D objects actually move when I walk around them. One makes noise rubs against my leg then jumps onto the kitchen counter acting like it wants to be fed. Another makes annoying barking sounds at random times. I can even manipulate a can opener to satisfy the objects. I have been informed that one can get an upgrade from the supermarket for $8 which in addition to increasing the sharpness of small print, reveals flaws in the simulation such as lack of detail in photographs.

    1. Kaltern

      Re: I've already got mine

      If your pets are in 2D... you need to rethink their nourishment...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've already got mine

        FlatCat - Pat pending

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: I've already got mine

          Aren't you a bit late? I gather IKEA does a FlåtCåt, although some parts might be missing, and the instructions aren't always clear

          Sorry, I'll get me coat

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've already got mine

      This article is sponsored by Microsoft HoloLens (tm)

  2. Ali Dodd

    so it's hololense

    but 2 years later, with a wider roll out, with a custom infrastructure and actually doesn't do all that hololense does (hololense does multiple users, does cope with tracking pretty well with movement).

    Sooo that explains why Apple people were backing it as it is a MS competitor. Shame it's like their usual products first gen, rip off someone else's idea, don't do it quite as well but create a well designed case for it and then claim to have invented it?

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: so it's hololense

      What's this got to do with Apple?

      Fandroids gotta hate I guess.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: so it's hololense

        Adopting your tone, what has this to do with (F)androids?

  3. K Silver badge

    But none of this answers the question...

    .. everybodys really wants to know, but is afraid to ask!

    Is it good for watching interactive VR porn? And what attachments can I buy for it?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Devil

      Re: But none of this answers the question...

      You don't actually need to buy attachments for it. The Magic Leap will magically interface with your smart-vacuum-cleaner - which has all necesary attachments already.

      1. skalamanga

        Re: But none of this answers the question...

        https://goo.gl/images/VE17gS

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Happy

          Re: But none of this answers the question...

          skalamanga,

          Given the context, I'm not sure I'm brave enough to click on that link. As the saying goes, a thing once seen cannot be unseen.

          Toodle-pip!

      2. Mephistro Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: But none of this answers the question... (I ain't Spartacus)

        Smart vacuum cleaner? That's good, but not good enough. Right now I'm developing an interface for automatic milking machines that will blow your... minds!.

        It even includes a security mechanism that stops the process after five litres have been extracted!.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But none of this answers the question...

      Will only work on very large slow moving objects. Hope your mum is ready for her closeup.

  4. DrXym Silver badge

    Should have been pretty obvious

    The reality of AR is that even when it is equipped with multiple sensors it still struggles to overlay an image that moves convincingly with its environment and becomes easily confused. It certainly doesn't work on fine detail either or clip images properly to fit their environment. On top of that, the field of view is pretty lousy, the images look ghostly rather than solid, and visual cues such as lighting / shadows, sunlight etc. aren't incorporated either so the result looks weird.

    And besides that, what the hell is the purpose of it? How many times do you shoot zombies in your same house before it becomes boring? How many times does an architect use AR to model a teeny tiny model of the building they're working on before they realise how little the tech is doing for them? How many people are going to be assaulted walking up the street in their dork goggles before they get a clue?

    The only place I see AR having much of a future is in warehouse fulfillment and roles of that nature. Go to point X, pick up something and take it to point Y - here is a map, you have 2 minutes. AR would allow the system to work them harder than ever. So if you work in Sports Direct, or Amazon welcome to the future!

    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Should have been pretty obvious

      The only place I see AR having much of a future is in warehouse fulfillment and roles of that nature.

      I see it being of more use in non-consumer environments, too, once it is smooth and detailed enough.

      Warehouse roles, as you say, are an obvious fit even with current technology. However, engineering roles could benefit, viewing details of internal structures and even controlling machinery. Once the tech is up to scratch, it could have huge benefits for medical purposes, too. Augmenting reality to assist in real-life work would be a great bonus in many fields.

      However, for gaming most people want to escape reality and I believe that VR will be more successful. A fully immersive world where you can shoot bad guys, or drive like a nutter, or fly through space is much more attractive than overlaying a few sprites on the real world. Other than something akin to Pokemon Go (eurgh!) I don't see a huge consumer market...

      1. Thoguht Silver badge

        Re: Should have been pretty obvious

        Actually you'd be surprised at how many uses have been thought up (and patented) for AR.

        But back to the Magic Leap, how come it's using a processor that's almost 2 years old? And won't that be totally underpowered for the light-field optics that ML was supposed to have at one point?

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: Should have been pretty obvious

          But back to the Magic Leap, how come it's using a processor that's almost 2 years old?

          I would suggest because Magic Leap is all bullshit.

          When you can smell it, and be fairly sure your are looking at, you should really just accept it

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Should have been pretty obvious

            "When you can smell it, and be fairly sure your are looking at, you should really just accept it"

            It does AromaReality too? Roll on the fart apps!!!

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Should have been pretty obvious

          "But back to the Magic Leap, how come it's using a processor that's almost 2 years old? And won't that be totally underpowered for the light-field optics that ML was supposed to have at one point?"

          Understood, but you have to set the baseline somewhere or you will forever be redeveloping and re-prototyping for the Next Big Thing instead of getting to market. They;re running so past schedule now, does anyone want to see them step back and start over with the latest chips?

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Should have been pretty obvious

          Actually you'd be surprised at how many uses have been thought up (and patented) for AR.

          No, I wouldn't.

          I would be surprised if many of them were in any way interesting, much less compelling.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Should have been pretty obvious

        "However, engineering roles could benefit, viewing details of internal structures and even controlling machinery."

        Magic Leap might be useful for field engineers or mechanics. For those of us engineers who design and evaluate stuff, designing 3D objects on a 2D screen is more productive, and there are more of us than there are engineers working "hands on".

        As for controlling machinery, I can see a few niche cases where a "head up" display would add value... but they aren't engineering roles.

      3. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Should have been pretty obvious

        Warehouse fulfilment is going in a very different direction (that actually works) - and yes, it includes "robots" (or "RC boxes", for anyone who isn't a silly valley hipster)...

    2. ibmalone Silver badge

      Re: Should have been pretty obvious

      Casa Batlló in Barcelona (one of Gaudi's creations) makes good use of it for their self-guided tour. Of course, that runs on a phone rather than requiring a TX2.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And besides that, what the hell is the purpose of it?

      same as every other more or less "leisure activity". Very little purpose, hell of a lot of fun. Which makes huge amount of money (unlike those boring utilities like desalination, solar panels, etc.). We're already well into a "game/play/enterntainment society/civilization", and bravely taking next steps (leaps?) into (real or virtual) abyss. Perhaps just as well, in lieu of universal income for the plebs...

    4. Scunner

      Re: Should have been pretty obvious

      AR is only really useful in applications where it's vital that the virtual and real worlds be bonded together within your field of view. The marketeers probably need more sales than this very narrow niche would allow for, so they're talking it up as a solution for other use cases, most of which are idiotic.

      Warehouse fulfilment wouldn't need fancy integration of virtual objects with real-world ones - a simple HUD overlay showing a route map and destination details would suffice. If this isn't actually being done already it's either because the productivity gains are too small to be worth the development cost, or warehousers are pursuing entirely different means to improve efficiency (another commentard suggested robotics, which seems far more plausible).

    5. spold Bronze badge

      Re: Should have been pretty obvious

      >>> The only place I see AR having much of a future is in warehouse fulfillment and roles of that nature.<<<

      ... This is Fred, at your last business meeting you discussed... you need to talk to him about.... he looks rather nervous...

      ... This is Jane, you met her at last year's conference in Vegas, she likes gin and tonics and talking about dogs, looks like she is interested in you...

      ... This is James, he is your son, he always drops in on a Tuesday, don't worry you are just having a few memory problems, you are in your retirement home and people are here to look after you...

      The applications are there. Contextual information would be fine, forget the floating daft pictures. The requirements are for contextual speed of processing, off-device processing (too much big data for the device - offload it), not being creepy from a privacy perspective, and most of all - a display/sensory mechanism that is less conspicuous in that it does not involve wearing a pair of welding glasses or a diving mask!

      As users of this device will probably say - I don't see it yet. Will it come with a free white stick?

  5. AMBxx Silver badge
    Joke

    One day..

    They'll release a fully working model that does everything they claim.

    Nurse!

  6. Electronics'R'Us

    There is more to these than processing power

    Having done quite a lot of work on helmet mounted and head mounted displays, it is clear that these people do not understand the system level latency problem.

    There are helmet mounted displays in a number of applications for military aircraft (Typhoon and F-35 come to mind), and the architecture to achieve a smooth transition when the pilot moves their head around is anything but easy (but rater necessary as there is conformal data such as is displayed on a HUD like heading, aircraft attitude and altitude to name a few). This issue has to be solved at system level and virtually no amount of processing grunt will save them from this issue if the data paths have not been carefully constructed.

    Another issue is pre-distortion of the imagery because displaying on a curved surface requires the image to be manipulated to appear to be flat and that adds latency as well quite apart from getting the video from sensors in the first place.

    Seems like they need to go back to a drawing board and analyse their various path delays.

  7. Roml0k

    I am not able to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

    Why the heck are people even asking about multiplayer? Do they not understand the difference between hardware and software?

    "I just got a new 8K HDR monitor!"

    "Does it do multiplayer?"

    ...

  8. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    Ugh, the demo video.....

    ... 20 minutes of waffle with very little footage of the actual game, and much of what is shown is repeated.

    At this point, we want to know what the hardware can do, not the social acceptance aspect of developing the apps, which they wittered on about.

    Also, when they show the rock being blocked, it looks like the rock is rendered over the hand,.... the system should be smart enough to know the hand is in front of the rock and only render the part that should be visible.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      all those millions

      what a waste of money, all those millions for shit that a mobile phone has been capable of for years.

      There are some seriously deluded hipsters around.

      another case of hyped up circle jerking..

      "AR is fucking pointless crap and has been for years" - me on first seeing magic leap shit, a long time ago

  9. 0laf Silver badge
    Meh

    Meh, I'm sure it'll come out. It'll be late, overpriced, underspecced and underwhelming. No one will buy it and the company fold in a flurry of lawsuits. Meanwhile the directors will have disappeared into a cloud of billowing dollar bills to a warm country with no extradition treaty.

    We'll keep heading about it in recap stories about bad business practices and how "The Emporer's new clothes" is still a relevant tale.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Meh, I'm sure it'll come out.

      Before or after RCL's Spectrum Vega Plus? And for both, before or after the heat death of the universe?

  10. onefang Silver badge

    So it will be released next summer? Will that be next northern summer, or southern summer? Or maybe they mean summer on some other planet, one that takes decades to roll around?

    I've said it before, I'll say it again, Magic Leap is a LSD delivery device, you can tell just by listening to the crap they speak. "There's no elephant in the room.", "Oh wow man, you see that pink elephant flying around the table?", "Oh yeah, there is an elephant in the room."

  11. steviebuk Silver badge

    He's stolen...

    ...Steve Job's reality distortion field Rony Abovitz has.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mr Abovitz just explained your mistake

      It's an easy one to make: actually Steve Jobs stole the RDF from Rony. Of course that sounds like nonsense since Steve was using it back in 1980, but what happened was that Rony had used the time-travelling mode of Magic Leap to help Woz debug the ImageWriter driver. It's a truly magical device and I've been enjoying using mine every day since the launch in early March 2037, especially since I joined those developers in the part of the multiverse where shared multiplayer environments do work.

  12. razorfishsl

    giving bigger head than a dyson vacum cleaner.

    I really love the way your hands close round the objects and just manage to hold the 3D shapes, it's like they are really there....

    Go on try it.. see how long you can hold your hand is a grasping position and use your trigger finger.

    and wow... look at how the VR headset is capable of tracking your hands without any attachments and detecting finger movement.

  13. dbtx Bronze badge

    something that would be quite disorienting

    Orientate is not the root word or even a real word.

    1. Ashley_Pomeroy

      Re: something that would be quite disorienting

      It is if you're British. I am British and I'm real. Britain is real. I've touched it with my own hands.

      The Register is written for an international audience and has contributors from the former colonies, but it has British DNA.

      Besides, you shouldn't use the word "orient". It's racist.

      1. dbtx Bronze badge

        fine. The jokehorror is on me.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am British and I'm real. Britain is real.

        but you're saying that ONLY to make me believe you're real!

    2. Little Mouse

      Re: something that would be quite disorienting

      Are words "real"?

      Discuss.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: something that would be quite disorienting

        Are words "real"?

        Claiming that, in English, a word is or is not "real" is generally a statement of prescriptivist religion. Such a claim has no authority beyond the prejudices of the writer, appeals to historical usage, etymology, etc. notwithstanding.

        Of course, in an philosophical sense, words are real (though not concrete) under most common ontological interpretations. That includes neologisms, eggcorns, nonstandard constructions, and other innovations, deliberate or inadvertent.

        1. dbtx Bronze badge

          Re: something that would be quite disorienting

          I am prejudiced. Oh-ree-ehn-tayt sounds like an elephant fart.

          Actually it sounds worse because flatulence can still be funny. You know what isn't funny? Guys givingpresentating presentations during meetings where I work, in the USA, using it even though it's incorrect in the USA, and now I can't even imagine correcting them because I am trying to stop the tide. I can never know whether the examples they are following-- the users whose usage they are learning from-- are from another country where it is legitimate. It's like the legitimacy is more or less viral, while the correction isn't-- unless all the Brits want to let the Murkins tell them they're doing it wrong. It's got a diode.

          So the elephantine flatulence becomes colloquially legit over time and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. THAT is the horror that is on me, whether or not you were wondering. On the side, of course it was all my fault-- to announce non-correctness without referring to my favorite naughty-list of English errors, which agrees with Ashley_Pomeroy. Could have avoided this.

          Maybe I'll just start saying and typing limitated because it imitates imitated, but why should the absurdist protest stop there, or anywhere? Adaptate, citate, recitate, excitate, visitate, temptate, plantate, instrumentate, quotate.

          Come on. Lamentate with me.

  14. Trev 2

    Magic Leap - more like magic mushrooms

    Reading this, it sounds like there's less magic leap and more magic mushrooms being consumed if they actually believe their own hype. Either that or they are just waiting to hookup with the Scientologists and zip off to their magical universe riding on the back of a unicorn next to Tom Cruise.

  15. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Pint

    Hold my beer

    Verizon: We bought MCI, AOL, and Yahoo.

    AT&T: Hold on... Magic Leap!

    Verizon: You win.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    talks about things that he hasn’t actually experienced in a way that strongly implies that he has

    In plain English: he lies.

    1. Milton Silver badge

      Re: talks about things that he hasn’t actually experienced ...

      "talks about things that he hasn’t actually experienced in a way that strongly implies that he has"
      "In plain English: he lies."

      The media seem strangely reluctant to use that simple, blunt word. When Trump repeated Blatant Lie #4,677 the other day, we were treated to a variety of phrases such as "He falsely stated", "Counterfactual statement", "Not supported by the evidence", "Claimed incorrectly", "Misleading statement" and other euphemistic waffle. Looking at other known liars, no reputable media that I'm aware of simply said "Foreign Secretary Johnson lied that {enter BS here}" or "David Davis told another outright lie today ...". Pretty much no one wrote in the last year, "President Trump lied when he said {...}".

      And it's not just a problem of simply getting things right, there is more importantly the question of managing the epidemic of lying. It appears that an infection formerly confined to newly evolved social media websites, around 2000 jumped the species barrier and began to rampage through the human population. One high profile victim was British PM Tony Blair, previously a somewhat honorable man, who began to lie serially (possibly after contact with one Smirking Chimp, who was infecting Washington DC with equally deceitful fellow sufferers such as Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove and others).

      It seems that right-wing extremists, racists, bigots, religous nutjobs etc are predisposed for infection, since they have only tangential acquaintance with truth anyway. In this case the disease acts as a symbiote, helping to compensate for lack of evidence by providing comforting fabrications instead.

      Arguably, the pathogen now having found high-profile hosts such as Donald J Trump, various British and East European politicians, and latterly even Elon Musk, it is attaining its pandemic stage and risks overwhelming the human race's immune systems such as science and education (and decency, common sense and integrity).

      We can start by calling a liar a liar, but it may not be enough.

      1. Scunner

        Re: talks about things that he hasn’t actually experienced ...

        @Milton

        The media just don't want to be exposed to legal action. Calling politicians out for lying implies intent to deceive, whereas mis-speaking, claiming incorrectly etc. doesn't - it leaves open the possibility that the politician concerned may simply be reporting their understanding of things in good faith. Yes, we know the people concerned are actually lying, but media bosses don't want the headache of having to prove that to a libel court.

        I'd argue it isn't even a new phenomenon. It's just that the alternative facts are more easily noticable now that fact checking can be done in near real-time by anyone who actually cares for truth and accuracy. It's not just a right-wing tactic either - it's lies and spin across the full political spectrum, because it works.

        Which brings us to the real problem - a large proportion of the population doesn't care about truth, they just want their political leaders to look good in a suit and sound like they care about them. Modern politics (and marketing) is more and more about finding a tribe of people who will support your position no matter what stance you take. Political debate as we knew it has died because it's expensive and difficult to change opinions among the educated members of the electorate, but cheap and easy to use emotive arguments to get the vast mass of the uninformed to follow you unquestioningly. And if you call their man a liar, it makes YOU the bad guy.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: talks about things that he hasn’t actually experienced ...

          The media just don't want to be exposed to legal action.

          That may be true in the UK, but in the US, there's essentially zero chance of a successful suit by a public figure against a media outlet for claiming the former lied in a public statement. And indeed many journalists and commentators in the US have no qualms about accusing public figures of lying. The biggest mainstream-media outlets may show some editorial reluctance to make outright claims of falsehood against politicians, but I believe that's largely a show of propriety.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: talks about things that he hasn’t actually experienced ...

            That changed when an openly anti-media President took office. Someone who constantly deride the MSM as fake news must be open to turning the Department of Justice on them. Worse, he's as person who can (a) believe his own lies with all honesty (meaning he'll see past any counterevidence you present no matter how concrete), and (b) insist on the last word (meaning if you call his fake news fake fake news, he'll just say you're infinitely fake news).

  17. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    The phrase "leap of faith" somehow springs to mind, whenever I read any article on Magic Leap. I wonder why?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Optical Specs

    Where are the optical specs?

    Real world field of view seen while wearing the gear?

    AR Field of View at each eye?

    Are the fields 100% overlapped or split?

    Brightness?

    Latency?

    Frame rate?

    Dynamic focal range (if any)?

    It's a display device. It might have 'Deep Thought' in a matchbox to drive it, but if the display is poor you do not have a viable product. The fact that they are so coy with this info speaks volumes...

  19. MCMLXV
    Headmaster

    @Ashley_Pomeroy: Orient is racist - WTF?

    I was going to wade into the orient/orientate debate (@dbtx - like your line about the horror being upon you, but orientate is, alas, all too real), but @Ashley_Pomeroy broke my spirit with the priceless "Besides, you shouldn't use the word 'orient'. It's racist."

    Ach, sod it - I'll wade in anyway. "Orientate" is a back-formed verb from the noun "orientation", from the verb "to orient", meaning to align relative to a compass point or similar. Orient is racist? FFS.

    Next thing we'll know, he'll be telling us to use "burglarize". Get a dictionary, and get a grip.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: @Ashley_Pomeroy: Orient is racist - WTF?

      Orient sure can be racist to Asians. Ever been to THE Orient? What was the Orient Express about?

      1. Scunner

        Re: @Ashley_Pomeroy: Orient is racist - WTF?

        As far as I'm aware, "the orient" is just another way of saying "the far east" (unless you're talking about the football team of the same name). It's therefore about the compass direction or the territory that exists in that direction, and has nothing to do with the people there - it isn't a racist term. The Orient Express was/is a fast train which travels in that general direction, so it's just a descriptive term explaining what the train does.

        "Oriental", on the other hand, does refer to people from the orient, so perhaps could be construed as racist. However, I don't recall ever hearing it used as a pejorative term in itself, and personally consider it to be a pretty much neutral descriptor for people originating from SE asia (c.f. Caucasian, African, Asian). N.B. To a Brit, Asian means somone from the indian subcontinent, and oriental or SE Asian means someone from China and it's environs. I guess you could argue the case that indulging in such categorisation is wrong, but I'm not seeing racism here either, really.

        I will agree that racist terms for people from the far east do exist, but I'll refrain from using any here because that kind of language has no place in a civilised forum. I seem to remember the former presenters of Top Gear being quite well versed on the subject, which is one of many reasons why I don't have any time for them.

        1. onefang Silver badge

          Re: @Ashley_Pomeroy: Orient is racist - WTF?

          'As far as I'm aware, "the orient" is just another way of saying "the far east" (unless you're talking about the football team of the same name). It's therefore about the compass direction or the territory that exists in that direction'

          Everything is relative. From here in Australia "the far east" is to the north of us. South America is what is far east of us, to the immediate east is New Zealand. I guess if you go further east, you'll get to South Africa, but that's also to the west of us if you go the other way around.

          It's enough to make my head spin.

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