Magic Leap Shows Off Long-Awaited Headset With Few Details
(Bloomberg) -- Magic Leap, the secretive startup that has raised close to $2 billion and spent much of the past decade vowing to remake entertainment, finally has a product—or at least, it has pictures of one.
The company updated is website Wednesday morning to include photos of the company’s “mixed reality” headset, the Magic Leap One. The device includes a bulky pair of goggles with a vaguely steampunk aesthetic, as well as a controller and a computing pack that you wear on your waist. A software development kit will be available in early 2018. Online videogame site Glixel published an article Wednesday describing the product after being given a demo.
Magic Leap has long battled claims—published by the Information, among others—that the startup over-hyped its products. Over the past few years, Chief Executive Officer Rony Abovitz has given demonstrations of his technology to a small number of reporters, investors, and entertainment industry figures, but always under strictly controlled conditions. Glixel’s reporter agreed not to “divulge the specifics of the characters or IP,” as a condition of testing the device.
So far, Abovitz’s strategy has kept investors wanting more. In October, Magic Leap raised $502 million in a funding round led by Temasek Holdings Pte., Singapore's state-owned investment company. That injection should value the company at about $6 billion, people familiar with the situation said in September, and brings the total amount raised to $1.8 billion. Magic Leap counts among its investors the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google.
The Florida-based startup has long promised to develop a headset with technology that would show 3-D virtual objects superimposed on the real world, by projecting light into the human eye—a simulation of how people perceive actual objects. To achieve that, Magic Leap said it would build its own software and hardware and handle the manufacturing in-house.
The updated website is sparse on details, including the product’s cost and the exact date the “creator edition,” aimed at software developers, will be available, let alone be ready for consumers. In September, Bloomberg reported that the headset will cost $1,500 to $2,000, citing people familiar with company’s plans. Abovitz told Glixel that “pre-order and pricing will come together,” and described the Magic Leap One as a “premium artisan computer.”
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