Long threatened to be the next in a line of cool shit turned vaporware, Magic Leap’s headset, the device that will supposedly change how we perceive reality itself, is finally available for pre-order in some areas for developers and really big AR and VR nerds.
The announcement appeared early this morning on the Magic Leap blog, where the company also included details that suggest the device really might exist and is not just some dude’s acid dream.
If you note a sense of scepticism on my part, it’s because Magic Leap has been promising to release this headset, and hyping it, for a really long time. It’s been four years since the company initially announced, through a series of mind-bending videos, that it was creating a new type of mixed reality headset. Magic Leap quickly secured a lot of VC funding and an impressive array of hires. It was the kind of money and staffing that either results in something extraordinary or something sites like Gizmodo will mock for years to come.
But the day is finally here – sort of. You can finally pre-order a Magic Leap. Or at least, you can if you're in Chicago, LA, Miami, New York, San Francisco or Seattle. It’s powered by LuminOS, the company’s mixed reality operating system that seems to take some cues from Microsoft’s HoloLens user interface. It requires white glove delivery and set up, hence the very limited roll-out so far.
The Verge had access to the device and seems... less than impressed by Magic Leap (hey Magic Leap we’ve asked you repeatedly for a chance to check it out. What gives?). Images clipped, pulling the writer out of the moment, and the computer powering the experiences seemed not up to the task. Which is... not what you want to hear about a device that currently costs $2,295 ( £1,800).
But it should be noted that it’s still early days for the Magic Leap One. A number of content creators are developing for the device, and it’s only now opening for limited pre-orders so the average developer can take a crack at building out a new world with augmented reality (though many are reportedly so put off by the secrecy of the company they’re reluctant to develop). Magic Leap might not be the fizzle that the Verge and Wired’s profiles seem to suggest.
There's no word yet on when the Magic Leap will be available to pre-order in the UK, but we'll be keeping a close eye on when they do.