Magic Leap is expected as the messiah. The Hololens, in spite of all its qualities, is still fragile to target a massive general audience: connected to a PC, a still approximate hand navigation… It allows us to project ourselves into what the future will be, but it does not embody it. It allows manufacturers to test solutions in a very concrete way to integrate them on a large scale when the hardware is mature. Will Magic Leap One break new barriers?
What it changes
Clearly, this device will be for the Mixed Reality what the Oculus was to the VR: the first opportunity to set foot in this new world. WETA, Peter Jackson’s production company (Bilbo, Lord of the Rings…), is an active content producer. The product is targeting a mainstream audience.
2018 will be a fairly strong year in terms of lighting up the Xtended realities. Ready Player One will be the big spotlight for the general public on the VR’s potential. The release of the Magic Leap will surely agitate the geekopshere, but if the releases are well coordinated, as WETA produces content, chances are Magic Leap will benefit if the communication is well run. On the other hand, the film will be released at the end of March, not sure if Magic Leap will be ready at that time.
The idea of putting on a remote control is a great idea. Clearly, the fine use of fingers is still premature in terms of computability, especially if you want it to run on a portable device with limited computing capacity. We see it on the Hololens, the use of the hand is a work in progress. The remote control has the merit of being understandable and usable by all. I’m still curious about the 3D tracking system. The interaction quality will greatly depend on it.
Separating the different elements (calculation unit, glasses, controller) seems to be a good idea. Putting everything on your head could have been too heavy. Nevertheless, several wireless devices connected to the device multiply synchro and battery problems.
They will largely depend on the prices of the first kits. The Hololens with its 3000€ clearly limited the first uses to an industrial target. If the Creator’s kit makes it possible to test these technologies for less than 1000€ in real-life situations, there is a way to create hype and pre-industrialization for a fun experience.
For my part, I must admit that I dream of being able to use it in Escape Games or in events (Jurassic Run where you run with a velociraptor right on your buttocks!).
Contact us if you feel the same way and you want to collaborate! We’re always glad to brainstorm.
The mainstream is hard to target with such a device. On the innovation curve, it will target early-adopters. But the form factor and the use of a controller make it directly usable by anyone without training.
Conclusion: it’s a great stepping stone, but in my opinion too early to be a game changer. The general public is not ready to buy a dedicated device. I strongly believe that in the 2020 horizon, such a system would better work as a device connected to the smartphone. That may be the reason why the computing platform is separated from the glasses. Early adapters will nonetheless create a real awareness if the price point is carefully selected.