back to article With a warehouse of unsold AR goggles, Magic Leap has a brainwave… let’s rebadge ‘em and sell to business!

In another sign that investors in augmented reality company Magic Leap had had enough of blue-sky thinking and want to see green paper, it has “launched” a new business-focused product. “Magic Leap today announced a suite of services, a robust set of applications designed specifically for the enterprise environment, and the …

  1. Roq D. Kasba

    AR in table top games

    I like the technology behind the Tilt Five offer - not trying to be all things to all comers and able to be affordable accordingly

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: AR in table top games

      Yes, but who wants to spend $2k* on a device for a board game that will never match up with the imagination** of the player***?

      * that could buy you alot of board games and expansions...

      ** at least ones that still have an imagination, that hasn't yet had it burned out of them by having everything spoon fed so they don't have to waste time dreaming.

      *** or creator since some get a massive kick out of creating they're own custom models and not those using a small, pre-defined list of authorised tweaks. Though I suppose it will allow different players to game with each other without the need to actually go to one of the players houses, clubs etc.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: AR in table top games

        "Though I suppose it will allow different players to game with each other without the need to actually go to one of the players houses, clubs etc."

        That's a pretty big deal for a lot of people. Either your friends have moved far away, or they've settled down with a family, and getting together to play a board game is pretty tricky, with weeks of organising to find a time when everyone can actually get together.

        Doing it online (eg, via Tabletop simulator) is one way around that.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: AR in table top games

          Yeah, it all depends on your use case. Personally, the appeal to tabletop games for me is that I gather physically together with my friends to do it. If we played online, I wouldn't bother.

      2. GameProgrammer

        Re: AR in table top games

        TiltFive costs like $300, not $2000.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Good article

    And good blog reference as well. I will refer people to this article in the future when asked my opinion about current VR technology.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Good article

      And a good title for the blog. Requiem.

    2. GameProgrammer

      Re: Good article

      Good article...if you ignore the mistakes/misinformation :P The article says that Magic Leap is unable to do fast-action games, that they have some sort of issue tracking things at a fast enough speed for games. However, Magic Leap has a fast-action game they released just a few months after launch, Invaders. Has robots flying and climbing out of holes in your ceilings, floors, walls, that you have to shoot with a laser gun. The device also has an Angry Birds game, which sure isn't as fast-action, but still has you shooting fast objects out of a slingshot and seeing the structures fall apart and go flying.

  3. Muscleguy Silver badge

    Run for it

    All I want is a pair of light glasses, I wear them when I run (except when it rains) which gives me a headsup display of the info from my running watch which gives me elapsed time, pace, HR that kind of stuff. Also it should work in the dark. Looking at the watch while wearing a head torch doesn't work. Too many reflections.

    I would like this soon and at an accessible price and will connect via Bluetooth with my running watch as the HR monitor and footpod (distance/speed) do. I use Polar gear. Get cracking.

    1. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Run for it

      I'm a bit surprised it doesn't already exist. There are already a variety of glasses, goggles, and such that try to replace the watch entirely and do all the GPS, tracking, and everything all in one place. But that always ends up with heavy, bulky, expensive glasses that probably still don't do the things you actually want and can't connect with other hardware in any useful way. Having glasses with nothing more than a display and bluetooth/ANT+ to connect to other devices would make much more sense - don't try to reinvent or reimplement all the things that already exist, just give a convenient way to display the information.

      Hell, a lot of cycle computers these days are little more than a passive screen that connects to all the sensors you've glued to various bits of your bike and body. It doesn't seem it should be that difficult to just stick that screen on a pair of glasses.

      1. Drat

        Re: Run for it

        It is a question of focus. If you just stick a transparent screen on to some glasses, you will not be able to focus on the text, it will just be a blur (you can test this out for yourself if you hold something transparent with text on, such as a sweet wrapper, right in front of your eye).

        Currently you need some form of optics to change the focal distance of the text/image. To remove the need of optics you would need to have light from the image travelling roughly parallel, I don't know, some form of hologram technology to collimate the light?

    2. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Run for it

      "All I want is a pair of light glasses...."

      If you look at where smartwatches that try to do everything are compared to more focused training watches, I think such glasses would be a hit. Smartwatches have much too low battery life and are still relatively complicated and very expensive compared to a dedicated running watch that 'just' does location/speed and heart rate.

      You don't need super-resolution display, you don't even need colour. Just some numbers in the peripheral vision on a HUD. I'm not saying it's easy to create, just that the challenges are an order of magnitude less than a 'full' VR. And a market that is specific, existant, and willing to pay reasonable amounts.

      Whoever manages to crack that will have a hit on their hands

  4. katrinab Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    I'm struggling here

    What is the business use case?

    What business problem have they identified that exists at the moment?

    How do businesses deal with this problem at the moment?

    What other solutions did they consider before coming up with this one?

    Why do they think that this solution is better than the alternatives, and better than what businesses do at the moment?

    It looks like they started with a solution, AR goggles, and attempted to find a problem that it would solve. That is doing things the wrong way round, and it never works.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I'm struggling here

      Didn't MS do exactly the same with HoloLens? The difference is that ML aren't MS so execs won't buy their toys.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: I'm struggling here

      What is the business use case?

      There was a program on the tellybox a couple of weeks ago where Guy Martin broke the tractor land speed record for JCB. At one point they had a meeting with an aerodynamicist from Williams - who was doing all the air-flow simulation for them (JCB not normally caring about aero on their kit). So they had a big empty meeting room and all had headsets and some sort of hand control - and the Williams guy was coming in by computer link.

      In the middle of the room was an image of the tractor - and by pressing buttons you could show the computer generated airflow - then the new part (front bumper/spoiler) that had been designed and what this did to the airflow.

      Obviously this was just a meeting for the purposes of the telly program - but clearly this has uses for architects and designers of all types - where you can project a 3D version of your drawings and then walk through it.

      Still a niche area though. Maybe useful for general meetings, because everybody can see the whiteboard clearly? But is it really worth the effort?

      Given how poor most people are at visualising what's shown on drawings I imagine it's not long before VR will be used as a sales tool by kitchen companies and the like. A lot of them already use computers to generate pretty pictures of what your kitchen will look like. I'm sure estate agents would like the tech to avoid having to do so many visits - but the tech to generate good 3d images would need to be advanced - and made simple enough for an estate agent to use in the field.

      1. 0laf Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: I'm struggling here

        I think this is where it will go. Architechs and town planners will see use in this and engineers wanting to show and discuss complex structures. Even scientists looking at molecules etc.

        Your example of kitchen design is a good one and I'm sure it's already happening somewhere using Occulus type kit.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: I'm struggling here

          This is all assuming that it's worth the effort to create all of this 3D content. A DIY store selling kitchens to people would have to pay people to create a sales pitch to a huge number of people that will likely be "just looking" and not ready to start making payments on a new fitted kitchen.

          The example of having an engineering meeting with people from all over a country or the world narrows down the market to very large companies which is narrowed down even more to very large companies with engineers on the same projects not being at the same facility. I worked at a place like that and it was very dysfunctional. I don't think it's a matter of how good the tech is, there is a benefit to having people physically in the same place to work on a project or to play a board game.

      2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: I'm struggling here

        Most of the meeting rooms I've spent time in over the past few years fall tragically short of this.

        It's usually a case of looking for the remote control for the screen (which somebody has taken to another room), trying to connect your laptop (HDMI and DP connectors were never designed to be plugged and unplugged twenty times a day), and failing to erase the permanent-marker writing on the whiteboard.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: I'm struggling here

          Or powerpoint presentations with the entire transcript of the talk displayed in 8pt text and delivered in a monotone.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: I'm struggling here

            8pt text and delivered in monotone? Luxury!

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
              Happy

              Re: I'm struggling here

              In our day the text of the presentation was tattooed onto the body of a 20 stone wrestler and screeched sung at us out of tune by Gracie Fields.

          2. Aussie Doc

            Re: I'm struggling here

            "...in 8pt text..."

            ...and in Comic Sans font.

            1. katrinab Silver badge
              Unhappy

              Re: I'm struggling here

              Indeed

              With lots of animations

    3. LDS Silver badge

      "What is the business use case?"

      Especially for companies like BNP Paribas, BCG and Deloitte.... <G>

      Although I can understand what they could mean for "virtual reality"....

      1. SVV Silver badge

        Re: "What is the business use case?"

        The main business use case I can imagine is for watching videos and surfing the web, whilst pretending to look at the actual work displayed on your monitor.

    4. spold Silver badge

      Re: I'm struggling here

      It's the business enhancing software....your balance sheet looks so much better through these AR goggles!

      (Goggles also available with Rose tinted lenses)

    5. Sir Awesome

      Re: I'm struggling here

      I can think of one very good business use case - replacement of monitors.

      Imagine having an AR headset synced up to a Windows box, and being able to tell it "create a new monitor of this size and place it >here<", and instantly having a new display, without the fuss of cables and additional power.

      THIS is the advancement I'm waiting for, and would welcome most heartily.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: I'm struggling here

        That sounds interesting in a "gee whizz" sorta way, but I don't think it's something I would actually use if I have to wear something to do it. I'd want real monitors.

    6. RantyDave

      Re: I'm struggling here

      Putting information where it's needed. For example, carrying around a knowledge of where all the water pipes are and projecting where they are onto the walls. Of course, we're then reliant on the knowledge being right...

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: I'm struggling here

        Michael Crichton used a VR system for working on aircraft as part of his Airframe novel. I think that's the sort of application where VR could be very useful. It just has to be light and comfortable to wear and be able to get out of the way when it's not being used. A big honkin' set of goggles is not going to be welcome to a mechanic that might need to push their head into a space to see what they are working on. Taking a system on and off just makes paper manuals easier to use in comparison.

  5. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    With a warehouse of unsold AR googles, Magic Leap has a brainwave… let’s rebadge ‘em and sell to business!

    I suspect these are actually AR goggles.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Trollface

      I suspect the price tag is $1 googol.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rock stars do plenty of corporate gigs

    But only when they have a well established product that works and that people want. Magic leap, not so much.

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Good thinking. Magic Leap 1 is a much snappier name than Magic Leap One.

  8. pravvy

    New Low in Magic Leap Bashing by The Register

    At least in past articles, The Register just spinned facts to bash Magic Leap. Now you are outright fabricating facts and need to issue a retraction.

    1) Phil Rosedale’s blog article only talks about VR and makes no mention of either AR or Magic Leap.

    2) Anyone who has tried Magic Leap knows within 1 second that images are see-though which is one item you think is missing. Begs the question how you can bash Magic Leap so consistently without having actually trying it?

    3) If anything, Phil Rosedale would be proud of what Magic Leap is doing with MagicVerse, a direct descendant of Phil’s open-source VRBA project.

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: New Low in Magic Leap Bashing by The Register

      For someone who apparently has no affiliation with Magic Leap, your posting history shows that you talk about nothing else.

  9. Milton Silver badge

    Contacts, anyone?

    Interesting discussion about how glasses might be used in this territory, and I find myself wondering about contact lenses.

    Haven't we solved most of the basic problems here?

    * We know that flexible displays can be constructed.

    * We know that it's possible to make a display material that's also transparent

    * We know that we haven't reached peak pixel density yet: what DPI level would suffice for a lens-sized display?

    * Contact lenses already comprise a focusing medium

    * Well made and maintained ones can cover most of the cornea if necessary (especially if routinely worn for no longer than, say, 10 hrs a day)

    * There's abundant technology now for short-range high-bandwidth data transit

    —so the only radically new feature of this item would be its power source: maybe body heat conversion, or perhaps (if the energy requirements are low enough) some kind of localised wireless power transmission. However sci-fi that may seem, I am one of those whose boyhood rites of passage included building my own crystal radio (back in the 1960s) so I know that it's possible to extract useful energy from an AM radio signal coming from 200 miles away. How much energy does a display need if it's < 3cm away from your retina?

    All the heavy CPU work would be done by the connected device in your pocket, so the lens has to do only one thing: authenticate (pair with) and display an image feed.

    Maybe in 15 years my daughter will routinely ask the optician for prescription 'active' lenses, instead of old-fashioned 'passive' ones, so that she can use a cornucopia of AR content and help beamed from her phone.

    (Hacking could be a problem, mind you ... and, hm, temperature regulation?

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Contacts, anyone?

      Is it ever possible to focus on an image that is on the focusing lense itself?

      1. User McUser

        Re: Contacts, anyone?

        I suppose if you placed OLEDs on the front of the lenses that maybe-possibly-might could work?

        However, being neither an engineer nor physicist (nor even an optometrist) I'm just making a wild guess.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Contacts, anyone?

      Put something electrical on my eyeballs.... ummm, no!

    3. Thomassmart

      Re: Contacts, anyone?

      An alternative approach could be to stop trying to get organic lenses to focus where the shouldn't, and find ways to send data directly to the optic nerve? The visual equivalent of those bone conducting audio devices?

  10. JohnFen Silver badge

    This is getting even more entertaining!

    I need to make a lot more popcorn so I can better enjoy watching this ship sink.

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