Magic Leap's finally here... so now what? / by Stephanie Llamas

While the product looks and sounds amazing it's important to remember that we still don't know that much about what Magic Leap really has up its sleeve. What we've seen and heard so far is a concept, a design, and some descriptions of the experience. However, XR is something you can't understand until you actually experience it yourself, no matter how vividly people describe it to you. The promise is enormous but if it holds up, it will be industry-changing, and I very much hope that's the case. 

I'm sure the price point will be high and inaccessible to most consumers for awhile. However, what they've claimed to do will make it infinitely easier to innovate for a more mobile, interactive experience than most VR and AR we see today. That could revolutionize so much more than the entertainment business since such a surreally real experience could facilitate more meticulous training programs for things that need it, such as surgeries and design. 

Magic Leap has found an interesting way to skirt tethering without actually removing it. They announced the headset is tethered to a small, portable base, so it's almost as ordinary as wearing headphones attached to a cell phone. It will be a long time before something like Magic Leap (claims to be) can be completely untethered and easy to wear. This is a really creative solution to that.

Experiences are reported to be less strenuous than VR, allowing for longer user sessions. VR's limited experiences have been one of the industry's major issues and has made it difficult for companies to keep users coming back to their headsets. AR is consumable for a longer period of time than VR, but there isn't any content that makes people feel compelled to keep using it. MR could be the best solution, especially since the IP rumored to be involved with Magic Leap seems to be compelling. 

I have long believed that Magic Leap's funding and the caliber of their investors means the device IS special -- even if we all were annoyed that it took them so long to let us in on the secret. The crawl they are making into the market will put MR revenue behind VR and AR for awhile, but it will outgrow them quickly after that -- that is, if it can become affordable for the general consumer.