What comes after smartphones?
Apple and Samsung are making subtle attempts to draw your attention away from your phone with smartwatches, but there are other companies taking bolder steps toward the future of computing. Google, for instance!
Google helped secure over $US500 million for a little-known company in Florida named “Magic Leap.”
Never heard of it? Neither have most people.
Magic Leap is creating an “augmented reality” headset — essentially a headset that overlays virtual 3D objects into your field of vision, making them seemingly appear in real life.
The company’s CEO Rony Abovitz was interviewed Tuesday evening during a Wall Street Journal event in California, and he showed the first video of the headset in action.
This is pretty impressive stuff: That’s a moving solar system overlaid in real life, with light being reflected accurately against real world objects. The focus of the objects is sharpened based on where you, the human, is looking.
“Anything that you can do on your smartphone, on your computer, you’ll be able to do on Magic Leap,” chief content officer Rio Caraeff said on Tuesday night, Engadget’s Nicole Lee reported. “We believe the future of computing should be natural,” Abovitz added.
While the video of Magic Leap’s headset showcases casual uses — like a quirky robot hiding under a desk, or a projection of the galaxy in motion in mid-air — the Florida-based company sees its mission as nothing less than creating a visual operating system for real life.
“The world is your screen,” Caraeff said. “Ultimately it’s about letting the world visualise their dreams and live a magical life full of whimsy and wonder.”
That “whimsy and wonder” applies to everything from boring everyday stuff like emailing and word processing to more serious applications like surgery and architecture.
Magic Leap wants to be the electronic medium through which you experience the world — like our phones are right now, but better. More natural.
The company’s preparing to do as much with increasing intensity: a recent expansion into a massive new facility in Florida is one major step in that direction.
“We’re gearing up to ship millions of these things,” Abovitz reportedly said.
But what does this thing look like? What is the headset? We still have no real idea. Patent filings show a set of sunglass-like glasses connected by wire to a pack worn by the user (presumably the pack is what’s powering the headset). Like so:
The most Abovitz said during Tuesday night’s interview was, “It will be self-contained; a complete computer.” He also indicated it would be something people wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear in public — a nod of recognition to the fact that people were less than comfortable interacting with others wearing Google Glass, the futuristic head-mounted computer system that Google created a few years ago.
Regardless, the ambition is certainly there for Magic Leap’s mysterious headset to power the next step in everyday computing. Now all Magic Leap has to do is match that ambition with a product. No pressure.
Check out the full video of Magic Leap’s technology in action right here:
NOW WATCH: Here’s the incredible Microsoft virtual reality set that turns your hand into a laser gun
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