Technology

Magic Leap Smart Glasses Slated For 2018 Release

After a 3-year-long development process, we’ll soon see the Magic Leap smart glasses with a 2018 release.

Magic Leap Smart Glasses
Image source: YouTube Video Screenshot

Magic Leap Smart Glasses

Smart glasses are technology that thus far haven’t had much widespread adoption. While they’ve seen limited application in the workplace, the average user currently doesn’t have much of a reason to go out and buy a piece of equipment to experience augmented reality. However, as innovation drives the creation of new technology, we could soon see a situation where augmented reality is an integral part of interacting and connecting with the world around us.

Magic Leap smart glasses have been in development for quite some time, and the company recently unveiled a “creator edition” of their augmented reality system. The system consists of a small external computer called a Lightpack, as well as a handheld controller in addition to the glasses. The technology is designed to interact with “multiple input modes including voice, gesture, head pose and eye tracking.”

Another interesting feature of the glasses is the ability to map persistent objects into your environment. For example, you could “place a virtual TV on the wall over your fireplace and when you return later, the TV will be right where you left it,” according to the Magicleap website.

The Magic Leap smart glasses are slated for a ship date of sometime in 2018, and we certainly hope that the date doesn’t get pushed too far back. With how long the development process has taken, it’s clear that implementing this new technology and getting it to work the way they want is not an easy feat for the augmented reality company.

Rolling Stone was invited by Magic Leap to try out some demos, with features ranging from virtual characters reacting to eye contact, to a floating virtual comic book. Previous rumors suggested that the company was having trouble keeping performance up while shrinking everything down to the size of their goggles, but the impressive tech demos seem to refute those concerns.

Using The Equipment

Rolling Stone has reported that Magic Leap will offer two different sizes, with the ability to order custom forehead, nose, and temple pads to make sure everything fits correctly. Apparently, the company is also looking into adding prescription lenses to their smart glasses, allowing those of us with poor eyesight to experience augmented reality as well.

The necessary Lightpack computer contains most of the processing power behind the Magic Leap smart glasses, and apparently has similar power to a MacBook Pro or Alienware gaming PC. With that much capability from a dedicated graphics card, it’s clear that these small glasses will be capable of some big feats.

The goggles themselves have a small computer built in that handles world detection and some machine learning capabilities. It also manages to pack in four different microphones, six external cameras, and built-in speakers.

While we don’t have an exact release date for the Magic Leap glasses, we’ll hopefully see it in the hands of consumers sooner rather than later. If the long development process and frequent push backs are any indication, however, we should take this target window with a grain of salt.