Magic Leap: delivering AR glasses in 2017

This could be be a big milestone for Magic Leap: The engi­neers of the Florida-based startup, with a whop­ping $4.5 billion in funding, are working on a proto­type of their Augmented Reality glasses and will be presented to the board members in February. Could this be a reac­tion to the December article from The Infor­ma­tion? Or was it already planned in Magic Leap’s deve­lop­ment? Either way, it seems like there is some­thing going on in Fort Lauderdale in 2017… and the mankind is expec­ting a giant leap.

In a podcast with t3n editor-in-chief Luca Carac­ciolo in December I discussed Magic Leap’s plans to deliver in 2017. The February presen­ta­tion will be the startup’s first chance to present what they intern­ally call “PEQ” – Product Equi­va­lent. That first proto­type might use similar tech­no­logy as the Holo­Lens. The light specific field tech­no­logy Magic Leap is working on won’t be on show this time as it seems that there are too many chal­lenges in the product development.

Magic Leap Patent

Source: USPTO

The version they will probably present will be connected to two belt packs: one for the battery and the other for all the compu­ting power. Why split them into 2 packs? Well, it’s probably because they can get quite hot. If you look at the Google Glass, they tried to put ever­y­thing in the same place and as soon as you started using the AR features it would over­heat – hence the sepa­ra­tion for Magic Leap. Cons­i­de­ring Magic Leap’s closest compa­n­ions, you will notice that the Holo­Lens has all necessary units and sensors on board, whereas the Meta 2  has to be connected to a regular PC. Magic Leap’s PEQ is some­where between Microsoft’s AR glasses and Meta’s device: connected but transportable.

In 2017 we will see the first deve­lop­ment kit from Magic Leap, a year later there could be a consumer version. According to former employees, the glasses could cost between $1.000 – $2.000. In a blog post Magic Leap’s CEO said: “We are not about buil­ding cool proto­types. We are scaling up so we can manu­fac­ture hund­reds of thousands of systems, and then millions”. Let’s see if all of us have the “Magic Leap” this year.

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