There are two things that would absolutely revolutionize how I work that I would pay big money for:
1) Any sort of glasses that would allow me to view virtual displays in high definition. I don't care if I have to turn my head to see more than one display, I don't care if they are VR instead of AR. Should be high enough resolution to be able to use busy Excel spreadsheets and see enough details on a page to do web development
2) Some sort of glove where I could move my fingers to type. It doesn't need to represent an actual keyboard. I could learn whatever new gestures are required for each character.
Those two innovations would mean freedom for me. You could effectively work anywhere in any position, laying in a hammock, on a crowded train, at night in bed when inspiration hits without waking your significant other. It would have to be AR to use while running or working out :)
If these can be made with enough quality to enable equal productivity to a laptop the creators will have an addressable market of about 3 billion people.
In gaming, on the other hand, the unfamiliarity of the tech is not a risk but an asset, making the experience more novel. The fidelity doesn't have to be sufficient to overtake an existing process, just to support a fun experience. That's a more scalable business with lower technological barriers to entry, so that's where businesses are focused.
Same reason we had Pong before PCs. You might also see major tech advances in products for specific targets, like military use, medical, or advanced manufacturing, that then trickle down to mainstream productivity applications. But until they get the tech good and cheap enough, expect progressively better games!
I doubt that. If you make a VR/AR/?R version of a Bloomberg terminal or Factset then finance firms will literally roll up wads of cash and throw them at you. It doesn't have to be massively better. It just can't be worse which is the real hurdle. Granted I'm not an expert on the subject but every VR/AR app I've seen that claims to be the "$APP Killer" simply sucks.
This is the same reason nobody has dethroned Excel in finance. There's plenty of things that solve specific sub problems but the generic, "I have tabs of data and I want to slice and dice it" always goes back to an analyst exporting data to an Excel file.
looooool ... You mean like the men having competitions to see who can hit the urinal from furthest away? or barefoot wrestling on the trading floor?
Those are both reputable stories I've had relayed to me about people I've worked with. More like a frat than an uptight environment ;)
* Impromptu breath holding contests complete with prop bets and name chanting
* Chairs shoved, phones slammed, mice thrown, (full) drinks thrown, (Other people's) paper piles toppled, soooo much profanity.
* One time a trader yelled FKING FK very loudly as our EVP of Trading was giving a tour of the office to a business journalist. To which the EVP turned to the journalist and very calmly said, "With us, you always know where you stand."
I worked on two different (energy) trading floors. One was a fairly large venture (30 or so trading desks + mid/back office + dev/ops/DC teams + management). The other was one of the huge banks. Both were in Stamford CT.
I spent well over 5 years there and never once did I see those sorts of shenanigans.
There was some stuff: the guy that liked to throw a football across the floor, occasionally smashing a monitor; the guys that bet $1000+ each over who could lose the highest % of body weight in 2 months (or was it one month?); and the occasional swearing, but nothing near the "like a sailor" level I hear about.
Pretty much everyone I worked with was highly professional. They were profit motivated (for sure), but even there I personally witnessed people making fair deals where they could have squeezed someone dry and unwinding deals at a loss to keep a good counterparty relationship.
I'm so glad I never worked with the handset smashing, drug abusing, loudly swearing, king of the world, type-A assholes that I hear about.
Been there done that. Was the big bank one, the one with the keys in it's logo ? If so, you were using the Desktop OS build I designed :)
> I'm so glad I never worked with the handset smashing, drug abusing, loudly swearing, king of the world, type-A assholes that I hear about.
I think these days, thats largely confined to the Hedge-Fund traders. And those guys are EXACTLY the sort of people would love AR/VR based trading UIs - anything to make more money is always welcome in their world.
No. We were the other BS across the street.
I have a VR system and I wear it knowing that it makes me look like a total doofus. You also have zero ability to discern what's going on around you, e.g. to easily socialize with someone walking by. The productivity advantage a VR application would have to be huge for it to be worth doing things by VR, and the fact is that the fidelity just isn't there yet. I would also argue that even with fidelity, the usecases seem specious. But I also thought that the "Minority Report" scenes (which didn't involve a siloed-VR-helmet experience), while cool-looking, seemed like an extremely inefficient way to solve crimes.
Put some time in at a long/short or quant fund. This would be par for the course. I've been there.
This can be quite important in certain circumstances.
Ha! You don't know traders...
Problem #1 is what you mentioned with VR/AR $APP Killers - they mostly suck. They create value via novelty, which wears off. Bloomberg delivers value by addressing a really consistent set of needs in a solution highly familiar to many users across a whole industry, to the point it's hard not to buy it if you're in finance. It's like the industry's craigslist - lousy in many ways but good enough to stay entrenched (though Bloomberg's entrenchment is driven more through familiarity and brand rather than network effect, which makes it somewhat easier to compete against).
Problem #2 (being matched by Bloomberg) comes from Bloomberg having such domination of its market, and such deep pockets, that unless you are doing things they can't do they will just learn from and then kill you should you attain sufficient success. Although it might be easier to buy you!
You're going to get wads of cash from people eager to consume their Bloomberg data in a better way.
Any change, no matter how much it improves the workflow or UI is met with bitter resistance, because the users do everything from muscle memory, and small changes break that and slow them down.
The most poignant example I have comes from gaming, but I think it illustrates the point. In Elite: Dangerous, some of your menus are to the left and right of your avatar. Normally, you'd have to press buttons to focus the camera on these menus; in VR all I have to do is look at where that menu is and it pops right up for me to use.
It actually made the interface _way_ more intuitive, easier to use, and significantly faster because it played on my expectation of the result. If something similar could be designed on top of Bloomberg data, I think you'd see finance people trampling each other to get it.
This would be particularly true if you played into their existing behaviors and motions; they wouldn't have to learn anything, it would "Just Work".
Same reason I won't buy the new Macbook pro - they fucked with the ESC key, they instantly stopped existing as a viable product for me.
At no point did I suggest messing with their keyboard - just give them better visualization possibilities.
Those guys could run circles around me in the DOS version with just a keyboard. Seeing them use it now reminds me of watching someone with a decade+ experience with vim or emacs.
Look at the effective resolution of your monitor and consider the percentage of the field of view that it occupies. You'd need to get something in the area of 6-8k resolution screens if not more to match the same effective resolution.
Handsfree search in docs.
Yes it can. The resolution of AR/VR glasses is less than my iPhone or my laptop monitor.
Now you’re telling me that plugging in a big bulky headset is somehow going to deliver a not worse experience than thee other devices that don’t require an unparalleled level of immersion (both a pro and a con) yet able to show less detail?
However for other, more non-immersive applications, like AR resolution became more important. Which leads go slower reaction times. Which can lead to sickness and lawsuits.
Is it the best way? Hell no - but excel files still fly around on almost all meeting invites...
I believe they control 95%+ of the banking market.
But this and other comments are vastly underestimating the resources that people would be willing to exchange to make their work better. For what I described, a "reasonable" price point could easily be around $10,000. Apple is selling their new iMac at a starting price of $5,000 and there is nothing particularly revolutionary about it, it's an upgrade of what is already available. When you are spending all day using it, and it is the tool you use to make your money, it is worth a lot.
Secondly with VR as a desktop replacement... This is simple math. A 4k (or higher) 30" monitor will always be easier and cheaper to build and worst case the same. Except it's at 3' from your face. Shrink that monitor massively and stick it inches from your face. More expensive. Now do the trig on how many and how small of pixels would be required to pay that same resolution from 3' to 1"... Massive downscale... But great we'll get there on display density.... Except, and this is the kicker... For a lot less you can just upgrade the 4k monitor.
Basically unless something fundamentally changes in display tech or we hit a Max resolution that people care about... Miniture displays will mathmatically lag large displays. Yes smartphones tipped the balance but it all got rolled into desktop displays and tvs.
So you lose on econimics and math.
A display tech with massive resolution but something that inherently keeps it from scaling would be a big kicker. Or as some people have said... Hitting 16k or so resolution on VR screens per eye and your dream is there.
Till then gaming is a massive tech driver... Not people using spreadsheets
I want the portability, and then the resolution just has to be good enough. If we could get a virtual 1080p display that would be amazing and good enough. But to your point, the VR display would probably have to be 4K just to be able to properly represent a 1080p virtual display.
how big is your virtual 1080p screen representing? and at what distance. give me those numbers and I can tell you what display tech it needs to be, but it's going to be on the order of 10-20x density. it's all about pixel radians.
Also, 1080 is quite small for reading, macs have retina displays which is nearing print when running anti-aliasing.
And don't think I'm attacking you, I want this too. It's just that I did the math.
So if I could focus like it was 6 feet away but it was big enough it took up most of the screen from that distance, and it had a 1080p resolution, that would be good enough. And then I'd buy the upgrades when they came around :) The rough math I was doing in my head was that anything that wasn't 1:1 would need probably 4 pixels for every one virtual pixel. So 4K would about do it.
I pick 1080p because most laptops today still have that resolution, and several laptops that I still use have less resolution than that and are still usable.
Looks great! 4k video streaming from Youtube works very good.
4 x 1080 Tiled windows - perfect for productivities.
I don't do gaming. The latency is less of an issue for me.
So eventually, we will get there :)
There is also talk about how we actually only mentally process a small focus point in high resolution, and a renderer that could track our focus point could use a lot less GPU compute for a scene if fast enough.
This is the entire concept behind 'retina' displays. The max DPI that humans are able to resolve at typical usage distances.
Honestly, even that is debatable. Gaming has been the most successful application of this technology, but that doesn’t make it good.
Like it or not, we’re still in the land of hype and tech demos.
I'll admit that I might not be the "average person" that this is target, but I completely disagree.
I've often said that developers should have powerful machines and tools, pretty much regardless of price. Salaries are often over $100k/yr, and at that price if something makes you a few percent more productive but costs a few thousand dollars, it will (in theory) pay for itself in less than a year.
And for something like this, it would easily make me more than a few percent more productive. Just being able to take the equivalent of 3 monitors with me when I'm on a plane, or am working somewhere other than my normal workstation alone would be worth it. Plus the fact that i'm no longer limited to screen realestate means that when i'm actually "in the zone" and really getting shit done, I'm not going to be struggling with frustration at needing 3 console windows open, plus 2 editors, 2 browser windows, and a chat window. Just being able to throw a console or 3 at a spot where I can glance without having to take my hands off the keyboard or alt+tab through several windows in some cases would be a giant QoL improvement!
For me, this would truly be revolutionary. A headset that lives up to the promise of "a 1080p screen, but everywhere" would change so much of how I work it would be completely revolutionary. And I'd easily be willing to throw a few thousand at a product like this without even thinking about it (with the caveat that it would need to look like it's going to be supported for a while, and won't just ship a device and never release software for it again).
It's more than that. With the current state of the art, it's impossible to make a "virtual monitor" that can match the display density of even a plain 1920x1080 display. You can make "giant spreadsheets", but only because you have to blow up everything to multiples of normal screen size for text to be readable in the VR environment.
If it took up less space than multiple large monitors, it would already be better by one criterion.
> have to be massively better than $1000 worth of monitors
Just read these two quotations, and you have the answer. Yes, high-resolution low-hassle googles would be massively better than 3-4 decent monitors for quite some people. At $500 for 2K resolution, that would be an instant hit.
I think that it's a convenient text input device that is missing from the picture. A lot of power users can't touch-type yet.
Another problem is the hassles: either cables or poor battery life. Bandwidth is important outside of gaming, too, else you'll hear the complaints about janky page scrolling instantly.
Text has to be fairly large in order to be readable. We will need an enormous resolution and incredibly low dot pitch to solve those issues and make productivity tools possible.
This is the tech space where I dream of working. I have been designing features for developer teams in AR but without the hardware being available, it's all theory.
I'm still excited to see where HMDs get to in the next 5-10 years, both AR and VR.
Oculus Research' 'Focal Surface Display'
> Miller wanted to show me one other neat trick. He walked to the far end of the large room and asked me to launch Gimble. The robot obediently appeared in the distance, floating next to Miller. Miller then walked into the same space as the robot and promptly disappeared. Well, mostly disappeared, I could still see his legs jutting out from the bottom of the robot.
> My first reaction was, “Of course that’s what happens.” But then I realized I was seeing a fictional thing created by Magic Leap technology completely obscure a real-world human being. My eyes were seeing two things existing in the same place and had decided that the creation, not the engineer, was the real thing and simply ignored Miller, at least that’s how Abovitz later explained it to me.
If they really have that working, it's a huge advantage over systems like HoloLens.
Here's an application for drivers and pilots: smart sun-shade to block out bright lights (headlights), sunlight, or glints off surfaces (water).
> My eyes were seeing two things existing in the same place and had decided that the creation, not the engineer, was the real thing and simply ignored Miller, at least that’s how Abovitz later explained it to me.
That sounds to me like some kind of light-field trickery where it puts an object in front of the background using the light field, but doesn't physically block the light. Instead, your brain processes it out because your visual model of the space has something in front of it.
I'm imagining this works sort of like the effect where you overlay left and right eye images that don't match, your brain sort of fades between the two of them because it can't decide what's there? Except instead of having that disagreement, both of your eyes say "This thing is in front" and that's how you see it"? It's hard to say from the kind of hand-wavey explanation.
If that's the case, I don't know that it would work for really bright glare. Either it might be a strong enough signal to overpower the light field, or the bright light scattering around your eyeball might still cause enough bloom to wash out your vision.
If the background is a blue wall in your living room, you place a white framing layer behind the text you're looking at. If the real wall is black, you do the same thing. Makes no difference what color the wall is then.
Wall -> Frame Layer -> Text
Text recognition should be among their easiest chores (which is to say it's still not easy, it's on the lower level of difficulty in what they're trying to do).
Magic Leap is claiming to have occlusion of background objects working, but hasn't really explained the mechanism. It sounds like it's some sort of "light field" trickery where they let the light through, but your brain knows there's a virtual object in front of it and mentally processes it out. Cool if it works, but I'll need to see this to believe it.
Companies can focus on the gaming industry first because it's tolerant of slightly degraded looking graphics and inability to render high fidelity text, and they can start selling headsets now to that demographic. A person writing code all day or looking at spreadsheets will not tolerate reading small text through a screendoor.
Finally we have a medium that can open up entirely new ways of doing things with computers, yet so many people just wish it could replicate the old ways.
Same thing happened when the first display computers were made to emulate paper-based terminals instead of exploring what's possible on a graphical display. We still haven't fully recovered from that.
Oh the pink plane.
Right. But to invent the new ways, I need access to A) a replication of the old ways, B) source/config/whatever so I can evolve the Next Big Thing. Without this use case in mind, we're effectively stuck on keyboards and monitors.
From their FAQ:
"Is Dynamicland augmented reality (AR)?
It depends what you mean by augmented reality. Dynamicland is primarily about working with actual physical objects that everyone can see and touch. Glasses and phone-based AR is usually about 'holograms' floating in space that only the person with the device can see. It is a central tenet that all people who come in to Dynamicland share the same reality. This enables social cues like pointing, eye contact, and shared attention which are essential for people to be fully present with each other."
And while their points ring true for the current iterations of AR-as-personal-assistant, I don't see why a networked AR where everyone shares the same annotations would work any differently. Isn't that what their projectors are doing, after all?
Now, once we have a holodeck, where the virtual objects are made tangible, your points will hold. But until then, tangibility is a key difference (and perhaps not the only key difference, but this should suffice for now).
At the same time, we have built our organizations, relationships, even our own brains to work in a certain commonly accepted way. Everyone can visualize what I mean when I describe a virtual display, which themselves have basically represented virtual pieces of paper as you mentioned. We would be instantly better off. But yes, it would be a tragedy if the better, more revolutionary way of working was discarded for an incrementally better version of what we are used to. I'd hope somehow we could do both.
This tragedy is common occurrence with incremental ideas.
Compared to the revolutionary, incremental ideas have an unfair advantage. They are way easier to talk about, way easier to imagine, way easier to implement, and way easier to sell. They capture the market, and before long, too many people's lives will depend on them that no one would dare even propose doing things differently.
This has happened time and time again. QWERTY is a nice example:
> The top row of alphabetic keys of the standard typewriter reads QWERTY. For me this symbolizes the way in which technology can all too often serve not as a force for progress but for keeping things stuck. The QWERTY arrangement has no rational explanation, only a historical one. It was introduced in response to a problem in the early days of the typewriter: The keys used to jam. The idea was to minimize the collision problem by separating those keys that followed one another frequently. Just a few years later, general improvements in the technology removed the jamming problem, but QWERTY stuck. Once adopted, it resulted in many millions of typewriters and a method (indeed a full-blown curriculum) for learning typing. The social cost of change (for example, putting the most used keys together on the keyboard) mounted with the vested interest created by the fact that so many fingers now knew how to follow the QWERTY keyboard. QWERTY has stayed on despite the existence of other, more "rational" systems. On the other hand, if you talk to people about the QWERTY arrangement they will justify it by "objective" criteria. They will tell you that it "optimizes this" or it "minimizes that." Although these justifications have no rational foundation, they illustrate a process, a social process, of myth construction that allows us to build a justification for primitivity into any system. And I think that we are well on the road to doing exactly the same thing with the computer. We are in the process of digging ourselves into an anachronism by preserving practices that have no rational basis beyond their historical roots in an earlier period of technological and theoretical development. – Seymour Papert, Mindstorms
That's why I believe we should be more evangelical in promoting revolutionary ideas (from the blue plane), and more quick to point out incremental ideas (the pink plane).
In fact, I'd say it's an example of the opposite: the alternatives didn't surpass QWERTY because they were mere incremental improvements. You need a big leap to beat the inertia of the existing systems.
Yes. It wasn't my intention to imply that an alternative keyboard layout would be a revolutionary idea. The example was meant to illustrate how a non-revolutionary idea (virtual 2D screens in VR), after establishing itself, can make it difficult/impossible for other ideas to take hold.
> You need a big leap to beat the inertia of the existing systems.
It's good to point, that once an idea becomes mainstream, even research into revolutionary alternatives will dry up compared to those focused on incrementally improving the mainstream, making it even more unlikely that the leap would happen.
I agree it's unimaginative, so I'm imagining programming in VR in picture-forth.
Is it ? If we talk abour VR, yes, but there are a number of companies actually delivering AR products whose focus is on productivity. Some examples (but there are more) are
Microsoft with Hololens 
Epson with Moverio devices 
Their oldest model are simple smart glasses, it seems to me that they are moving towards full AR.
As a plus side, they don't look something that I would wear only inside the office of SV startup.
I also felt the tracking was mildly worse than Vive; although that is more anecdotal.
My interest is mainly the healthcare sector, and while I have in mind a few applications, I think that for now they are not able to offer something a smartphone in the pocket of a doctor with a properly designed app, cannot do in the same amount of time.
If I had to make a wild bet on what will be the first successful consumer application of AR glasses I would say glasses for cyclists: the user can really benefit from not having to watch away from the road and we are already used to see them riding with funny glasses anyway :-).
(in fact it seems there are already a bunch of companies focusing on that).
Hololens is kinda neat but gesture recognition isn't there yet and the limited FOV really, really sucks. That's the biggest problem with any of these.
The Moverio is setting out to be pretty modest--think "Google Glass screen projected in field of view, but not shit"--but the execution there is solid. It also plays very nicely with glasses.
Because gamers are a community well know to spend several hundreds of dollars easily for any kind of upgrade to their existing hardware. At least the core PC gamers, and that's quite a large segment nowadays.
People's workflow is often fairly static, and this would need to fit the existing requirements. Games are very different from each other and transient. This may not work well for most of a gamer's library, but new games might come out that they will buy and utilize. If this doesn't work well (or even just as well as what you currently use) for a browser, terminal, spreadsheet and text editor, are you going to switch to some new software that you don't know that might work better (but still possibly not as well as what you used originally) just to make use of it? I wouldn't.
It also has to do with enterprise products suck.
Lets look at a similar product that lives on as "productivity", one that did NOT launch with gaming features: google glass.
For most of us, and most companies they aren't going to invest 100's or 1000's of dollars on something unproven. We might do that for "entertainment" purposes but not productivity ones until the tech is proven.
How do you prove out tech? How do you get those consumer grade productivity tools into the hands of end users quickly and efficiently -- lower cost or raise value. There are plenty of folks who gladly spend $1000 on gaming, look at the mobile space and the insane decisions consumers make there.
And anything that increases productivity will always have plenty of money thrown at it. Think about standing desks, for example. My employer is happy to drop $3,000 on a high end laptop so I can be that much more productive.
Gamers will shellout $1000's though for tech that is limited run, so you can then get items to scale for the majority of businesses/end users to purchase.
Also, Google Glass is being used in productivity, the current gen program is being used only in productivity applications. Google Glass was just too new to the market, and with the camera people were worried about being recorded, it needed a LED or a physical closure for the lens to make people comfortable.
Beyond these, the main reason is that gaming is a much better exploration and experimentation field than productivity because each app can have far less capital investment, lifecycles are short, and there's no need for a reliable, successful output.
Do we know the (eye) health effects, yet, of looking at AR/VR screens an inch from your eyes for 6+ hours a day?
Nearpoint stress basically can render your eyes permanently damaged. It's definitely to be avoided.
MagicLeap supposedly has variable distance focus working.
Abstract information spaces are hard;
being non-physical and having many more dimensions.
The added interface complexity usually doesn't justify the gain, from only throwing away 23 dimensions, instead of 24.
There might be useful ways to represent clusters of information related to a non-physical task effectively; there hasn't been a clearly successful one yet.
and no, if you are trying to jam a bunch of 2D screens in a 3D environment, you are not "representing physical objects or environments" as identified as the core strength above.
But what you describe isn't quite there technologically; they just don't have the resolution or refresh rate and input methods are still evolving. Another issue with AR is that it's only additive. The lenses make everything darker and they can only add light.
Some of the best use-cases I've seen for AR is assistive technology where it walks you through taking something apart labeling each part. Right now that requires an incredible amount of manual resources to generate (or would require a huge investment and significant breakthroughs to make dynamically generated or procedural). That tech is orthogonal to the display and input, but both are necessary for a product.
Same with the gloves, if it doesn't have good feedback then I'm going to nope out. Good for tech demos and sci-fi movies, but in real life you need the feedback and physical object.
(you know, like how in real life I need a keyboard and mouse instead of just an awesome mechancial keyboard and vim / emacs mastery).
We are always looking for more alpha testers. Should you have a VR setup feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to try it.
Because they think that gamers will pay. Unfortunately, I see that they got a wrong idea. It has a vibe of a semibotched Kickstarter project, except backers here are not private individuals, but gigacompanies.
A type of a gamer who spends 15k usd on a gaming rig to crush opponents in Quake 3 in ultracompetitive environment, will not care a bit about this toy.
The founder of the company comes from a socioeconomic strata whose people have that characteristic. A Boston "old money family (R)" born man may see that selling gaming stuff to quite a lot of relatively rich people dumping 15k on a gaming rig is a good business idea, proceeds to build a company built around that idea with all audicious bold claims being received with accolades from other people like him, but never actually bothers to figure out what things matter in a gaming gear.
If you have read his personal blog from naughties before he deleted it, you will get that his ways can be said to be well beyond "nebulous". He wrote stuff like "solving global problems" while maintaining that tone you usually see from people who flood the internet with something very insubstantial like "saving African children with Agile, innovation, and seven sigma framework..."
Ok, back to the botches kickstarter line. As happens often with such projects, original claims performance get scaled down, company barely manages to deliver a downrated product after missing the delivery deadlines multiple times, product works so so, and in the end it ends in your drawer for good. A year down the line the company simply shuts down the cloud service for the widget and you are left with an expensive paperweight. I expect magic leap to follow this route.
If you want to have something like a seemless experience, you need something closer to 90deg field of view and several thousand linear pixels (e.g. 5-10Mpix per eye) at near retina resolution. That is VERY hard even for the biggest GPUs (that don't fit on your belt) even at 60Hz. If you want to avoid dizzyness, then you want >90Hz and <10ms latency.
On the other hand, selling into business means developing business solutions and making business cases for purchase of the solution.
On the third hand, your use case is almost certainly smaller than the gamer market and has many of the same business case features as the business market...which means it pretty much is a business case in that "viewing virtual displays in high definition" is a business solution involving Excel and web development and hammocks and trains. Unlike the game market, the developers of the tools you want to use are not chomping at the bit to work with MagicLeap.
We learn much faster by copying someone, and having this kind of tool would free up resources while you on-board someone.
Probably for the same reasons that Tesla built expensive sports cars first, before focusing on delivering a (comparatively) more boring commuter sedan.
There're other interesting areas for productivity improvements too, like better interfaces for human computer interaction
I'd much prefer a laptop/desktop work environment to wearing goggles and using a virtual keyboard for hours at a time.
Literally half - if not more - of the site is showing non-game applications.
Meta is focused on productivity.
It's supposed to be shipping in 2018. They could easily have hired a team of top notch creators to showcase some of the capabilities of the device live -even if the device is still not 100% ready- instead of this silly Manhattan project secrecy. I hope they deliver as promised, but something smells fishy.
It's a pity, because unlike VR I think AR has huge potential both for consumer and industrial applications.
Nintendo announced the Switch about six months before it shipped. Before that they announced titles, showed game demos, and talked about titles in development. Magic Leap has shown us what could be a 3D printed mockup for all we know, and has announced (to my knowledge) exactly one thing for the console (mixed reality comics).
Magic Leap should be marketing the hell out of this. It's a multi-billion dollar product, and yet they have exactly zero actual footage of the actual hardware even working. Their sizzle reels have been nothing but concept art. Something is very wrong with this.
>instead they were constructed to give visitors who pass through the facility under non-disclosure agreement, a chance to see the magic in action.
It's a controlled environment with purpose-built demos for folks under NDA.
There's no videos, renderings from actual hardware, or substantive critiques on the fidelity of the device's output. The only negative criticism is that it has a rectangular viewport which doesn't fill your field of view. I can't believe that's the only negative thing that could be said about this. Not a single comment on FPS, glitches, or any other problems.
Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I could totally see this demo as being fudged. The computations could be happening off-device with video streamed over wifi. We've heard before that Magic Leap has struggled to miniaturize their hardware, with the last version looking like a proton pack...what better way to demo it than to fake the demo?
I want real evidence that the cute hockey puck has a real computer inside, not just anecdotes from an NDAed journalist in a lab environment.
Magic Leap pulled a similar stunt with The Information around the same time last year . Seems like they found a more pliant journalist in The Rolling Stone.
"In March of last year, it released a video online titled “Just Another Day in the Office at
Magic Leap.” Shot from the perspective of one of its employees working at his desk, all appears normal until robots start falling from the ceiling and converging on the worker, who picks up a toy gun and starts blasting his enemies into tangled lumps of virtual metal. The video, viewed 3.4 million times on YouTube, was meant to demonstrate a game people were playing with Magic Leap’s headset. It had been used for more than a year to recruit employees to South Florida. 'This is a game we’re playing around the office right now,' Magic Leap wrote in the description of the video.
But no such game existed at the time, according to two former employees with direct knowledge. The video was not actually filmed using any Magic Leap technology. It was made by New Zealand-based special effects company Weta Workshop, which has worked on movies like 'Mad Max: Fury Road' and 'The Hobbit,' the employees said. One of them called it an 'aspirational conceptual' video. The employees said some at the company felt the video misled the public.
In addition to the bulky demo connected to a computer, Mr. Abovitz showed The Information a prototype of the compact device it intends to build. It looked as if somebody fastened electronics to every inch of a pair of wire-framed glasses. It had a multi-layered, flat lens. He would not turn the
device on, but assured a reporter that it worked just as well as the larger, helmet-like device. Mr. Abovitz would not discuss details of the technology, repeatedly responding to probing questions with the phrase 'Squirrels and Sea Monkeys.'"
I think Magic Leap is another Theranos. A second, independently-developed HoloLens makes for a respectable incremental business. But that nugget of truth has been leveraged to a $6 billion hallucination. Maintaining that hallucination could have forced management to lie to investors, to the public and to their employees.
"In addition to the bulky demo connected to a computer, Mr. Abovitz showed The Information a prototype of the compact device it intends to build. It looked as if somebody fastened electronics to every inch of a pair of wire-framed glasses. It had a multi-layered, flat lens. He would not turn the device on, but assured a reporter that it worked just as well as the larger, helmet-like device."
Your post agrees that one year ago, Magic Leap was lying about the technology they had. JumpCrisscross only asserts that given all publicly available information, Magic Leap is probably still lying.
Rony Abovitz calls the chips supposedly powering his tech "Sea Monkeys."
edit: Also, even if that demo was the advertised Magic Leap hardware, it still only responded to camera movement, and Miller said the demo had capabilities that he refused to actually display.
"I noticed that when I moved or looked around, her eyes tracked mine. The cameras inside the Lightwear were feeding her data so she could maintain eye contact." Yes it is possible that the demo changes behavior based on eye movement alone but that's not what the author said.
Lightwear is the headset component. It is not functional without another, separate computer. The author says he only clearly saw the full, multi-piece ensemble of the advertised prototype Magic Leap hardware later, in a different room from the demos. My information comes from the literal words in and structure of the article. To make the point you are trying to make, one must add words and meaning that are not in the article. Continue insulting my literacy.
edit: You are right about one thing; my assertion that the demo in question was reliant on -camera motion- may not be correct. Eye-tracking on commodity hardware using a single camera has been a solved problem for years.
>> This is absolutely false
The Information documented Magic Leap lying about something unambiguous and untrue. That is absolutely true.
You're on a bit of a roll across this thread  without anything more than the Rolling Stone article. People are expressing healthy skepticism towards a company that has been publicly caught in a material lie, has raised a lot of VC with little to show for it, and made an announcement with lots of CGI and a vague "2018" release date. Given whom this announcement is targeting, I think it's fair for people to have a balanced view before they commit their time or energy to this company.
It would be trivial to fake the demo. You can buy the parts to stream HD video wirelessly for a few hundred bucks. If they're using a small server farm to render the output, isn't that cheating?
If they can show it to a journalist in a lab, why not make a marketing demo in a park? Like I said, I'll believe it when I see it.
It's called PR.
Interesting that this came out in Rolling Stone and not another tech site. I obviously couldn't say for sure, but I don't see why it isn't implausible to think that they found a publication that was happy to roll over a few details in exchange for an exclusive dig.
> “We went on this really crazy sprint from basically October 2014 to December 2017,”
This is the part that startles me the most. 3 years of a "crazy sprint" with no revenues is extremely hard for companies to pull off. It leads to all sorts of problems internally and hiring decisions are usually rushed and lack direction. It's surprisingly much easier to do when you have paying customers, because you make decisions based on the market and not just your gut (Slack being a good example of this).
Also, having more money and no biz model is a bigger issue than you think.
If we're talking videogames plenty of games have 3 year development periods.
Things have changed with Prime and supply chain innovations, but there isn't a much simpler model than what basically amounts to consignment.
This is very impressive if what it says is true. They've basically reinvented the concept of a digital computer display by projecting a sort of artificial light field into the eye. The amount of capital they've raised makes sense now, this sounds like a ridiculously big undertaking. What remains to be seen is whether all this work will be worth it as opposed to just better displays, but color me intrigued.
Besides, hype can be very dangerous. Look at what happened with No Man's Sky. They rode the hype train to the Moon and came crashing down hard because the product utterly failed to meet expectations. That's why it's important to temper hype with regularly administered doses of realism.
I feel like this is also an answer to the top comment in this thread - gamers are a target market for stuff like this because they are more likely to take risks based on hype without waiting for a technology to prove itself.
I hadn't read the article in rolling stone to be honest, but after reading it I get the impression that it would be even easier to prepare a more public demonstration (in a controlled environment) instead of this NDA shackled article. It wouldn't be that hard for example to show a video of the journalist in the room wearing the device and side-by-side a cloned view of what the journalist is visually experiencing. Something like what Steve Jobs did in the first iphone unveiling, but not live - an edited version would be more than fine, conveying both the visual experience and the journalists reactions.
This is a ground breaking technology with so many non-gimmicky applications that it's mind boggling. I was thinking earlier this morning how it can be used for driving assistance: wear the headset in your car and get an overlaid "google maps" experience without ever having to get your eyes off the road, pair it with the car's sensors and get collision distance information, coloured lanes in dark roads, etc.
How about (paired with sensors) measuring dimensions, inspecting components, counting objects, etc. in professional/industrial environments?
I don;t know, maybe I'm wrong but I feel this obsession with secrecy is hurting both their product and the technology
“We need more money.”
“We gave you $2 billion. You’re going to have to ship something before we give you more.”
“Hmmm...we aren’t ready to ship and may not be for some time...what if instead of shipping, we can show you that 50K people are interested in buying it? Will you give us some more money then?”
“Sure, you show us that 50k people want to buy it and we will write you another check”.
So they created an email opt-in page, photoshopped some 3D renders of a product that doesn’t exist yet onto a person’s head, and did a press release calling this page an “unveiling”. That’s really all this is - a “coming soon” page for something that may or
may not be vaporware. Investors are getting antsy and want some sense of what the actual market is for this thing.
They seem to be trying to bring a new thing into the world, I'm inclined to support it.
Just kidding, the internet site is really beautiful.
I don't see much to be gained from demoing prototypes to general public. If it's main blowing - great, but does not really make a difference if you can't buy it. If it's less than mind blowing, then you will just ruin everything. Even if you then later improve the product to the mind blowing level, most have already made their minds.
Not sure how how wide their product will spread though..
[disclaimer: I own shares in the company]
Considering the scope what they are developing (silicon that requires new fab technology), secrecy isn't the priority it would be if the problem was one that others could steal a march on by throwing money and bodies at it.
If they do ship, I predict that the product might very well meet all their technical claims, but will be a miss on their claims for utility and usability.
I imagine the reason they haven't shown anything is because they can only showcase the tech on the hardware itself, which isn't far enough along or in enough quantities to demo. I always thought the ads trying to show off some new 4k thing playing on my non-4k tv was silly.
If I look at the first demo of Micrososft's Hololens, it is all CGI.
By itself it is fair, you just can't make a good demo from first person capture of what the headset displays.
However, the demo was showing a room littered with augmented objects and minecraft blocks and people naturally interacting with them.
The reality of the very tiny cone of vision of Hololens make it feel extremely misleading.
In the end, it is hard to show something else that the vision of what you want to achieve and in Microsoft's case at least, there was a big gap between that and the limitations of the actual product.
For awhile I was demoing VR projects to non-techies (VPs, CEOs, and others). The most interesting response was when they took the headset off and they had forgotten what room they were in. Everyone's favorite demo was Tilt Brush because it showed off interactivity the most--not the ones with fancy graphics. It's hard to express those ideas without demoing it. As an aside; the demoing experience for VR is miserable. There's a very long line, people are required to set up and explain the demo and clean the equipment, and there's a learning curve and short time allotted for each demo. You can't just set up 5 unattended kiosks and let people figure it out.
Their videos are fake and do not show what they are building. The product might be neat, I don't know. We do know that they lie in their videos to get attention.
I have been an avid Magic Leap supporter for years. I told everyone I know about them and showed all my friends their videos. I've been gushing about them for years. All based on a lie. All my love and attention for them has been because they told us they were building a system for you to have AR without goggles. LIES. ALL LIES.
Boycott Magic Leap for life.
It's difficult to do marketing for things that aren't yet in productized form without them being aspirational to some extent or another.
Case in point, the public unveilings for the Kinect and original Mac were combinations of stuff that worked at the time of the demo and stuff they hoped to finish by the time they sold. The former didn't deliver, the latter did.
It's clearly bad to overhype a product, but you have to try and reach for what you think you can do even if you're not done yet. And for new product categories you're even more dependent on marketing than for established ones.
Is that the whale in the gymnasium video? If so, then I think the people were virtual as well. It may have been an empty room.
What we've seen so far is more toy like. But imagine an AR tutorial app that guides you through replacing the brake pads on your car.
It could point the the exact spot for the next step, instruct you which tool and size to use and all sorts of things assuming you can recognize the objects well enough and a specific tutorial was built for your car. You could even build tutorials by having it observe what you do.
That sort of application is probably pretty far off but having it as a HUD instead of having to pull out your phone every 30 seconds would be super useful.
In the industrial setting some workers are already using Google Glass type devices to have some information readable without pulling out a phone but those don't have any real AR features yet.
I keep hearing this from some sections of the VR community but I my personal feelings are entirely opposite. I simply don't have enough time for all the good VR content I've got access to. My backlog is growing.
Do you have incredible amounts of free time or do you have very specific tastes? Tilt Brush and Google Earth alone should be enough to keep a normal person entertained for most of their natural life!
And I'm quite happy for that software to be shorter and quirkier and less polished for the foreseeable future. Let a thousand flowers bloom. VR should also be bigger than gaming. Gaming would be just one application of VR - not it's raison d'etre.
Anything is better than it becoming a vehicle for annual releases of Call of Duty and FIFA.
Either way, looking forward to having a set in my hands/head.
You know the answer to that already.
Early reports (RoadToVR) say that the FOV is rather bad ("about the size of a VHS tape held at medium distance"). I'll wait.
*Okay not really but you know what I mean.
Common concerns, like FOV (not very big), are addressed in this article:
> The viewing space is about the size of a VHS tape held in front of you with your arms half extended. It’s much larger than the HoloLens, but it’s still there.
So it's all well and good that the demo units have a slightly bigger FOV than Hololens but I'm not going to hold my breath until we see the released product have a higher FOV than Hololens.
But, hey, Stranger Things, amirite? We’re all 80s-ophiles or something.
Honestly it sounds really small. Not sure how you could have a viable product that only works in a small rectangle in the center of your vision.
For a company with this much funding and hype I expected more than just “a slightly better hololens”.
VHS at half-arms length does sound only a bit bigger than the hololens.
Marketing's job is to make promises. Whether the company keeps them is another matter.
Let's turn instead to more practical matters. The reason they needed a lot of money is because no one on earth manufactures displays with the specs required to manipulate light in such a way. This isn't taking some already existing LCOS micro-displays and shoving them into an enclosure with fish-eye lenses. Oculus doesn't make their own displays and didn't spend the last 10 years perfecting them; that tech already existed because it came from the projector industry as a direct result of trying to make smaller projectors. What these guys are trying to do is basically as hard or harder than setting up a state of the art semiconductor company, that just so happens to be making a chip with special optical properties at the same time. Manufacturing stuff takes boat loads of money, let alone stuff that is that small. How long and how much money did it take to go from CRT->LCD is the correct frame of reference. They basically have to engineer and design the factory in tandem with developing the product/prototype. Not an easy feat, or cheap.
They could partner with one of the existing fab companies but its not clear that would be any more efficient because most of those companies are setup in such a way that is highly customized based on whatever fab and process tech the company specializes in or adopted, and most that deal with precision optical stuff (displays) are based on ancient and rudimentary liquid crystal and polarizer tech that is optimized for smartphones or TVs -- nowhere near what's required here. It's useful to know that even Apple doesn't make or design their own displays (although they do heavily influence the technology), but they do design custom processors and such.
I know its hard for the average reader here to visualize that someone was given a billion dollars to make something, without ever having made such a thing before and not yet releasing a product. And it probably makes people here mad, when they are struggling to raise a modest amount of money for their own startup. However, generally people who have billions to invest on high risk super high tech ideas aren't as stupid as people here would have you believe.
Never assume investors are smarter than us mere mortals.
I would be inclined to believe the same of MagicLeap but in their case the science is already well understood and has been done in an analog form for a long time, using techniques similar to conventional off-axis holography.
"And this is where another comparison between Magic Leap and Theranos falls apart. Most of the former's investors are sophisticated tech venture capitalists, who Abovitz says were “sending their brilliant professors from all the top schools to try and shoot us down.” Theranos, on the other hand, largely raised money from rich individuals whose life sciences experience began and ended with high school biology. Magic Leap's board includes Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai ― whereas Theranos directors used to include former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz."
If anything use "Segway", with Steve Jobs et al hyping them up before it bombed...
Negligence like that is far far rarer than the technology not being feasible, at least in terms of startups failing.
If you want to see a lightfield display you can just visit Display Week (http://www.displayweek.org/). Once you see one in person your doubts will be put to rest.
Is there an alternative to agile that's available out there?
It doesn't mean releasing things before they are ready. Agile is about potentially shippable increments and customer collaboration. Again this doesn't mean testing in production.
While the manifesto was written for software, with minor changes it can applied to most industries. Even with hardware, agile principles can be used to iterate on design, not necessarily physical production.
their carefully controlled demo to a single journalist is just more shadiness.
Where I see it really shining is as a successor to staged plays, and cinema.
The thought of allowing viewers to really deeply immerse, comfortably for long periods of time, to control the point of focus, to move around.
Kurosawa would shoot movies by building whole sets with all walls intact that worked from every angle, and having the actors perform the scene over and over like a contiguous play, and then this would eventually be shot from 3 fixed points in a single take, offering a consistent and seamless edited final version with perfect continuity... imagine this with an array of lightfield cameras capturing the set and actors, and using CGI to gap fill angles where necessary... and then allowing people to experience cinema from within the set.
Or, imagine animated cinema where the animations are real-time inserted into a set that you move around and interact with. The magical real being tangibly real.
Beyond games, beyond the AR/VR as we've experienced, I think that there's a really rich content vein that could be tapped within pure entertainment consumption, and that of the technologies lightfield tech may give the best control and experience to consumers.
(I wouldn't go again because the eroticism and occult themes make me quite uncomfortable, but the idea and execution were incredible from an artistic point of view.)
In a few decades, this could literally be the next "movies".
Shakespeare in the round would be given a fully immersive experience, and it didn't require any person to move at all... it simply means that from the perspective of each individual the set is fully complete and hides the audience as much as possible and gives each observer a unique angle, focus point.
That an actor could interact with a modern object (foam stick) that is rendered as an epoch suitable object (a longsword) would be possible.
The possibilities are really quite something, for the scenario of "each viewer has a lightfield viewer and the scene, set and objects can be rendered in real-time for them".
Perhaps I'm too narrow-minded, but I fail to see how this tech would create a compelling cinematic experience. Stage, on the other hand, makes complete sense.
Imagine a similar scenario for foreign language learners.
This thing could be huge, if the first people who try it on find an abundance of interactive experiences, so much that they rave about it, and make everyone else want one. Best yet, if this all happens in public spaces.
Again, personal experience with MS lens is the basis for this, but having played with it, I am not overly optimistic here. This would be interesting.
But the number of people that have actually tested it seems small...
For instance, the Hololens is rumored to have 1280x720 resolution per-eye - so a screen that consumes the entire visual field is only 720p, and "simulated displays" that were farther away would be worse.
You could have one virtual display with close to your face for high resolution information, and then dozens of peripheral displays further back for ambient information. Displays can move forward and back with subtle head movements. Why is the hardware resolution the limit? Isn’t it more of a UI problem?
It’s like people are assuming the VR desktop is limited to being an exact replica of their physical monitor, but why would you do that?
To your specific example of "You could have one virtual display with close to your face for high resolution information, and then dozens of peripheral displays further back for ambient information.", yes, absolutely. That makes sense. But the "close to your face" one would show you less than a paragraph of text, if you could actually see the peripheral ones all the time. Useful at times, to be sure, but not equivalent in all (I'd argue "most") situations.
: plus some fudge-factor, because you can read a bit better than with a comparative screen - the change in how the text lands on pixels as you move gives you a slightly higher "effective" resolution... though text at this size is still plenty difficult to read, so you still don't want to rely on it.
No matter how much you play with bringing some virtual monitors/displays closer or further away depending on focus it's always going to be inherently limited by the internal display resolution. Even then in VR headsets the lens distortion means text isn't really readable outside a small FOV directly ahead of you. Eventually we'll get cheaper better screens in these headsets but that'll require a lot more rendering power and still doesn't get past the fact that you're losing a lot of pixels to anything that isn't the display so the headset screens have a long ways to go before they can look anywhere near as good as the normal displays we use.
Here's a random video of a similar setup I found on Youtube to give you an idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BL1BGgRAUPs
I expect most of us will still be using 2-D physical monitors for most work in 20 years. VR and AR use will increase but they'll be limited to particular use cases.
If I moved my monitor out of the way, I'd be staring at a white wall. That doesn't need to be completely blacked out before displaying something else unless I was working on photo/video editing or design work where colors actually mattered.
Let's take one use case I've seen quite often: someone has three cubicle walls around them, and only uses one 21" wide section of it. Maybe two 21" wide sections, or one 27" wide section if they're lucky. The person has a chair that swivels 360 degrees.
Nothing says "a nice wide monitor" more than a display area that's 20 feet wide by three feet tall.
I doubt that white walls will work well for AR backgrounds because it's additive light. There won't be enough contrast to make reading comfortable.
Might not work for everyone, but it'd work for some people, which is quite often the case with basically every product that exists anywhere.
Again, what does it give you that a really large monitor doesn't do better for less money?
Sometimes I want to lean back in my chair and look upward but still continue working. I can't do that with a monitor. I could with a head-mounted display. How the fuck does that hurt you in any way?
I've been pretty critical of Magic Leap and their teasing in the past, and while we haven't seen any real evidence that the product is real, we also haven't seen any real evidence that it isn't.
"My first experience with Magic Leap’s technology in action occurred in a sort of sound stage"
Note he uses the generalized word, 'technology', and does not say 'Magic Leap One'. Then later in the visit:
"My first close look at the full Magic Leap hardware comes in a secluded space upstairs that resembles a fashion showroom."
Even if Magic Leap will ship, their secrecy is unwarranted because they don't have any credit as a company. Compare to Apple's secrecy: they do have credit.
It's very much Day One for this. HoloLens has been a stealth hit for Microsoft this year. Its the kit ($3K) I'm most excited to try out. Its quite possible all design prototyping and additive manufacturing software interfaces will have a head-mounted 3D input component soon.
And that's just the enterprise market. For retail consumers, check out Fragments to see the possibilities of turning turning home or public spaces into immersive gaming environments:
"Augmented virtuality (AV), is a subcategory of mixed reality which refers to the merging of real world objects into virtual worlds.
As an intermediate case in the virtuality continuum, it refers to predominantly virtual spaces, where physical elements, e.g. physical objects or people, are dynamically integrated into, and can interact with, the virtual world in real time. This integration is achieved with the use of various techniques. Often streaming video from physical spaces (e.g., via webcam) or using 3-dimensional digitalisation of physical objects."
But then, mobile apps started doing the later and called it AR. Also, Hololens did what we were calling MR and called it AR as well. So at this point, I guess you can use whatever word you prefer.
If this is cheaper than my three displays (and the resolution isn't too terrible), it's already saving me money.
Personally I found it super slow and frustrating to have to turn my head instead of my eyes to see different parts of the screen - it's nothing like using multiple physical monitors. And jewelers glasses are better than virtual screens will be - they have zero lag and don't suffer from the double-aliasing of projecting one pixel grid onto another pixel grid.
I can imagine this working, but it would take way more resolution and field of view to simulate multiple monitors than anything we know how to build today.
There may be a limitation, though: resolution. If we are have 9 virtual monitors, each displaying content at 2500x1200 (random pick), performances may not follow.
But then I guess, we only need to focus on one at a time. Maybe those additional monitors could work if we lower resolution of those not directly where our eyes are looking at, and just blur them for good rendering.
Anyway, I'm glad to see something came of Magic Leap.
I agree they could do it in a much less ugly manner though.
Yes. Currently it is birth control for your face.
Also, there's disclaimer text at the bottom of the second photo: "Product is continually advancing and may be different at time of shipment."
What is the message being projected if someone looks at you wearing these glasses? Probably not one a "normal" person would want to project.
Function matters, but don't overrate fashion. People deeply care about it, and will skip the function (no matter how great it is) if it makes them look like a dork.
Plenty of people thought the Walkman was futuristic because they were blown away by what it could do in that package. Maybe some of the more insecure people didn't start using them until it became sufficiently safe to be seen with one. But we're very lucky that in mankind there will be those one or two people who don't care what you think because you obviously can't see what they can see.
Literally, in this case.
Yet everybody does this every day in 2017 because headphones are super useful- Now we even think they'er fashionable!
I was inspecting the network traffic of the page and found this image…
Luckily for me you found direct links to the interesting content. Thanks.
If that's still the case, then every single example image on their site is a misrepresentation. They all show black and indicate the Magic Leap can do opacity.
I call bullshit until I see that they've solved that problem.
> Miller wanted to show me one other neat trick. He walked to the far end of the large room and asked me to launch Gimbal. The robot obediently appeared in the distance, floating next to Miller. Miller then walked into the same space as the robot and promptly disappeared. Well, mostly disappeared, I could still see his legs jutting out from the bottom of the robot.
> My first reaction was, “Of course that’s what happens.” But then I realized I was seeing a fictional thing created by Magic Leap technology completely obscure a real-world human being. My eyes were seeing two things existing in the same place and had decided that the creation, not the engineer, was the real thing and simply ignored Miller, at least that’s how Abovitz later explained it to me.
Edit: Let me quote the article instead of explaining it poorly:
"What that would mean is that the brain grabs more information and renders more detail when it needs to. And that completely changed the way Abovitz and his team were thinking about the light field problem. Suddenly, if the theory was right, technology didn’t need to capture the entirety of the light field and recreate it, it just needed to grab the right bits of that light field and feed it to the visual cortex through the eye...He was sure if they could create a chip that would deliver the right parts of a light field to the brain, he could trick it into thinking it was seeing real things that weren’t there. The realization meant that they were trying to get rid of the display and just use what humans already have."
About the only buzzword they're missing is "quantum superposition."
There are a few approaches. One is selectively blocking incoming light at the lens, however due to the nature of light because the distance between the lens and the eye that would allow for the right per pixel degree specificity is relatively large, you would get bleeding from the other incident light and the "black" would look at best fuzzy.
The other way to do it is to create a "standing wave" so to speak on the retina, and again that requires an almost photon control level of the display.
Neither of which I am confident ML has demonstrated effectively.
That said, I am actually bullish on a really good pass-through system, nobody is working on it seriously though.
Knowing all that – I want this to be amazing, but I am keeping my expectations in check. To me, this all seems too familiar. Lots of flash and shine, but I don't see anything concrete.
Most people there have always been from somewhere else, I didn't always fit in as well being born in Florida.
>>I don't understand why this entire field seems so focused on gaming, and not productivity
>Because they think that gamers will pay. Unfortunately, I see that they got a wrong idea. It has a vibe of a semibotched Kickstarter project, except backers here are not private individuals, but gigacompanies.
>A type of a gamer who spends 15k usd on a gaming rig to crush opponents in Quake 3 in ultracompetitive environment, will not care a bit about this toy.
>The founder of the company comes from a socioeconomic strata whose people have that characteristic. A Boston "old money family (R)" born man may see that selling gaming stuff to quite a lot of relatively rich people dumping 15k on a gaming rig is a good business idea, proceeds to build a company built around that idea with all audicious bold claims being received with accolades from other people like him, but never actually bothers to figure out what things matter in a gaming gear.
>If you have read his personal blog from naughties before he deleted it, you will get that his ways can be said to be well beyond "nebulous". He wrote stuff like "solving global problems" while maintaining that tone you usually see from people who flood the internet with something very insubstantial like "saving African children with Agile, innovation, and seven sigma framework..."
>Ok, back to the botches kickstarter line. As happens often with such projects, original claims performance get scaled down, company barely manages to deliver a downrated product after missing the delivery deadlines multiple times, product works so so, and in the end it ends in your drawer for good. A year down the line the company simply shuts down the cloud service for the widget and you are left with an expensive paperweight. I expect magic leap to follow this route.
then there's this:
>Given what is known about the mechanisms of high end confidence tricks, what is different about the operation of Magic Leap that indicates that it is not a confidence trick
Similar to the way that SV is decades ahead in software engineering, Hollywoood (Calif.) almost a full century ahead in moving picture entertainment, and Houston with its petro/chemicals, Ft. Lauderdale leads the pack in confidence leverage, selling to investors their very own dreams in the most "creative" ways like no place else. Lots of locations are desirable for different reasons and give rise to extreme leadership in regional specialties like these, where most outsiders are completely out of their element. Magic leap is already successful on its own terms without needing actual paying customers yet or even a shippable product, what's the hurry to put icing on the cake, even if it becomes possible? I wouldn't expect them to be as competitive at selling to customers compared to the pitches they have already delivered and won.
Vapor ware has existed much longer and more traditionally in hardwares than in softwares to begin with.
The most well-honed So. Fla. ventures always have a very realistic possibility of truly making money, the persuasive confidence being focused on distorting the probablity rather than on complete fraud. After all, fraud would be illegal, even in So. Fla. where you traditionally did not ask people what they do for a living, that would be rude since there's so little opportunity to earn a legitimate income compared to parts north. You're supposed to have money before you go there.
When I was a youngster Ft. Lauderdale was a much smaller yachting community, but more so than ever it looks like "hook, line, and sinker" will always be some of the most prominent pastimes enjoyed by those who specialize in this type of activity. All the yachtsmen I knew were only looking for the biggest fish, not interested in the small fry. That was for commercially viable fishermen who didn't even own a pleasure craft.
People probably don't have much memory from the last time, of course Port St. Lucie isn't exactly South Florida proper. Not as big a venture but could be considered a POC in an area not as thoroughly overfished as Broward:
With Facebook and all, everybody knows SV is where the biggest fish are these days. You go where the money is, or even better bring them to you.
Anyway, I am completely "confident" I could get a better return for the investors in Theranos than for those lured in to Magic Leap based on what each of these groups has to work with at the present time, if given the opportunity to steward each of these companies' present assets from this point forward. Surely I have seen what looks like some of the huge cash put into Magic Leap already trickle down into photonic advances that will make money for somebody someday, and from the looks of Theranos there have got to be some outstanding people in there somewhere with amazing breakthroughs that I would have an unfair advantage exploiting.
Only problem is, not so sure it would be a positive return for either one, the better bet may just be starting from scratch or getting in on the ground floor of a much smaller outfit in either case.
Would it be feasible to remove it?
From an update to Ars Technica's article , via a Magic Leap spokesperson.
Magic leap has always been about wearing something - the've just deliberately never shown any of their devices in their videos.
> but I thought Magic Leap were creating AR technology that worked _without Goggles_
Yes, that's because they lied to you and deliberately told you that the product would work without goggles. That is all over their early marketing.
But good, great. I'm not mad.
Their promo videos specifically promise that you could have a crowd of 100 people without the goggles on watching the Magic Leap effects.
They are liars.
We're not going to have tables projecting images into the air above & being seen from the side, any time soon. (Though I do have a crazy idea about making that work...)
At least now they have release dates and supposedly that means they actually have something, so I'm looking forward to seeing what they have.
Yes, the wire would be somewhat annoying, but I'm optimistic wireless tech will get there soon enough.
And I guess they don't remember Trip Hawkins overpriced bid at entertainment dominance, the 3DO? Cause this thing has a the whiff of 3DO all over it:
Star Control II was on other platforms, but was great on 3DO, http://sc2.sourceforge.net/ is free now and a deep game. Like 2D Mass Effect I thought. (Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters)
I also enjoyed Return Fire and PoliceNauts which are both available on other platforms also. Wing Commander III maybe?
The eye tracking feature will be a game-changer though, if they really have it working.
Disappointed to see that the advertised game with a team of 55 is robots shooting at you through space portals. Hololens has already shipped two (RoboRaid, Holo Raid).
All that considered though, WHY IS THAT HEADSET MOCKUP SO UGLY? Forgive the caps but the industrial design on this thing; I'm not talking about the form factor or the fixed sizing, I'm talking about the bevels, profile, and texture. It looks like a knockoff ergo keyboard from 2001. Go Scandinavian minimal cyberprep. Like Frank Lloyd Wright designed a living room for Daft Punk. Failing that, go full cyberpunk and make this thing true to the prototype it is. Let me feel like it's my DNI to my Ono Sendai.
I know it's just a rendering, but they should find with some of them dollars an industrial designer with some teeth and an opinion. This is the most exciting thing ever if it works as advertised. If they are limiting because of constraints, them making it cooler to wear is even more important. They've been a hype machine; that TED talk for their launch was ridiculous. Design by committee Steampunk goggles that look like a couple 2002 MS laser mice want to breed on my face is boring and stupid.
Light me up Magic Leap.
E.g., your app requires a user selection of one out of 5 tools, which are to be displayed, ready to pick, in a line-up on a flat surface at approximately table height. But there is no such surface, or the surface is already cluttered with other (voluminous) objects. – How do you proceed? Maybe, you're going for a fallback solution hovering in plain air. But then, there's the same issue with the "play field" or free of obstacles floor space or table real estate, obscure floor plans, etc.
I'm finding this problem with nearly all of the content advertised, in demo videos, etc. How is this to be solved in real life?
Somewhat coincidentally (or not) at the same day Icelandic music-greats Sigur Ros were there to check out a new iteration of the AR-app they have been developing together with Magic Leap for the past 4 years.
Pretty interesting read.
ooooook... How many cameras? Can I make a 3D photo with those cameras? That would be nice.
For example, here's a realistic vision of how it plays out:
This is a lot more different from the Hololens than the Vive and Rift are from each other.
“I can say that our future gen hardware tech significantly expands the field of view,” Miller says. “So the field of view that you are looking at on these devices is the field of view this will ship with.
2 * tan(30 degrees / 2) * 35cm = 188mm
2 * tan(17 degrees / 2) * 35cm = 105mm
A VHS tape is 187mm x 103mm.
I follow this space fairly closely, so here is some context for this.
The first thing to keep in mind about AR is that the "target" for all of these devices is really 5 to 10 years out when the assumption is that an AR goggles/device will replace smartphones.
This is why Google + everyone else are cool with dumping a billion+ dollars into MagicLeap, why FB bought Oculus (Yes, Oculus is currently a VR company, but Michael Abrash and others have publicly stated that is only because it's a more tractable problem than AR), etc. without an immediate payback / shipping device. How many trillions is owning the tech that replaces smartphones worth?
And there's a decent chance that MagicLeap will do this as they're taking a very different approach to the display technology than anyone else. Competitors like HoloLens, Meta, and about a dozen different smaller companies all have some version of a LCD display reflecting off an angled visor.
Meta - https://www.metavision.com/ - the design is like you took a baseball cap, glued a smartphone screen under the brim pointing down and then attached a plexiglass visor to reflect the images up at you.
HoloLens - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/hololens - you can see similar things here with all their layers of visors.
This reflective LCD approach is well understood and in relative terms "cheap" (aka you can buy good LCD screens at volume b/c of the existing smartphone market), but the result is necessarily a very washed out image, it doesn't look real or solid.
What MagicLeap is doing display wise is something very different. Rony's first company (sold for $1.2B) used fiber optics for seeing what was happening inside of a person while they were getting surgery. Imagine a light + fiber in your heart and the fiber is "scanning" back and forth to get a picture of what the valves of your heart look like.
Now _flip_ that - so instead you have fiber optics projecting light into your eye and the resulting image is indistinguishable from reality b/c it's just more light.
The presumption and rumors all along have been that this lightfield tech is real and amazing enough to open the wallets of some of the smartest people on the planet - but initially required something like the arm+lens setup that you use at the optometrist and a massive gaming PC to make it work.
What MagicLeap has been doing with all this time and money has been trying to shrink this system down. There have been leaked reports of "backpack" setups that were more or less a battery and a PC motherboard zip tied to a person. This announcement at least draws a line in the sand with regards to shipping a portable lightfield product and it may turn out to really be something special.
Our lightfield photonics generate digital light at different depths and blend seamlessly with natural light to produce lifelike digital objects that coexist in the real world. This advanced technology allows our brain to naturally process digital objects the same way we do real-world objects, making it comfortable to use for long periods of time.
Can someone explain in detail how this works and is better / different than a display? Also if this will kill the entire OLED business.
I'm having trouble thinking of other, decent reveals that would choose this marketing angle.
I think that's a little different.
"My first close look at the full Magic Leap hardware comes in a secluded space upstairs that resembles a fashion showroom."
So the demos and any tests of field of view were done with surrogate hardware. It could have even been a modified hololens.
Second, they seem to be backing away from lightfield. I'm guessing they are switching to sending a single plane with pre-rendered depth of field based on Abovitz super long, super incoherent rambling monologue.
"Suddenly, if the theory was right, technology didn’t need to capture the entirety of the light field and recreate it, it just needed to grab the right bits of that light field and feed it to the visual cortex through the eye."
And of course later:
In theory, a light field should allow you to look past a created image to the reality behind it and have that closer image lose some focus. The demonstrations I went through didn't really present an opportunity to see if the goggles could do that effectively. So I asked if the technology supported multiple focal planes. "Magic Leap's Lightwear utilizes our proprietary Digital Lightfield technology, which is our digital version of an analog lightfield signal,
I will say that creator studio piece looks great, given Weta and other studio parternships.
They’ve never shown a public demo because the private hardware demo is very likely built with insanely more expensive kit than they could ever sell to a normal person.
What is realistically the ownership of the founding team at this point, and how would they go about raising all this capital and still maintaining some semblance of ownership and control?
That's not great at all if it means you can't share your headset.
So Magic Leap would be the first commercial AR product? Thats kinda neat. 8K VR will be out in 2018 but also the first AR.
Can't wait to see this in person!
I've used the LeapMotion in VR and it's amazing. The VR headset controllers work well for their purpose, gaming - low latency, high reliability, high freedom of movement (can put it behind you etc.), and having physical buttons. But the LeapMotion tracks your fingers and feels really natural - without holding anything or placing trackers.
CEO Jim Jannard has revealed that RED is creating the screen in partnership with a company called Leia Inc. A spin-off from Hewlett-Packard labs, it calls itself "the leading provider of light field holographic display solutions for mobile," and the key words "light field" gives us a pretty good idea as to how it works.
Light field displays use multiple layers of LCDs with a "directional backlight," letting you see two different views of the same object with each eye, producing a 3D effect. https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/08/red-leia-holographic-sma...
This is an augmented reality device, yet it doesn't say that anywhere on the page.
Besides 2D overlays, I suspect that most AR applications will use avatars instead of trying to digitize real people. An unrealistic or cartoonish avatar would also avoid any uncanny valleyness and quite likely would even be part of the appeal
NVidia also has a 3D video capture tech called Virtual Eye. Rumor has it modern compression brings the video within 20% of 2D video size.
While it's not yet feasible for an AR headset to do such dense capture, the tech is not far off.
The idea of waving my arms around in the air for ten hours does not fill me with anticipatory glee!
Whilst I am excited about the prospect of doing this myself, in the hands of the advertising web this is effectively "advertise inside your competitors' store(s)"
nice that it's built for creators, but ... if it's only built for creators who will actually use whatever they created?
Sorry, I could not stop it. Hope the technology is amazing, and people will overlook how it appears.
My job involves lots of windows-only proprietary junk so my work machine is very windows-y. I wouldn't normally do this to myself.
is it just me, or is "digital light" an absolute nonsense term?
Call me when you've got a user base.
Can someone please tldr this without marketing bullshit?
e: so I realize AR might be around for a while in things other than Goggles (like phones where resources are limited), but for fully goggled in people I assume VR > AR in nearly every way.
I have no doubt that AR will power many "low end" gadgets like google-glass or snapchat's glasses, but for going full gargoyle mode, I imagine the ideal is a fully computer rendered landscape, even if it is mostly true to what you would see in the real world anyway (since it offers so much more power).
More seriously I'm still hoping it will be amazing...
What's this site about? What's the product?
I understand that designing a website is tricky, but - to me - this site seems an example of something aesthetically pleasing, but very cryptic from a content point of view.
Look at Apple’s full iPhone landing page. It’d be silly to explain at the top “iPhone is a wireless digital communication device.” It’s obvious that dude is wearing glasses that look like AR/VR headset. You ain’t gotta spell it out for people.
You may not know what MagicLeap - the company - is, but you certainly don’t need to be told it’s a AR/VR headset.
I agree with obscure random crap that shows up on HN and takes forever to figure out what it is. This isn’t one of those cases. It’s utterly obvious.
also, how is this different than castAR?
When do investors start suing for fraud?
Though with recent advances in AR and VR tech, the Magic Leap doesn't seem as magical as it did when they first started teasing it several years back. Looking at the trends over the last year or so, I think it was only a matter of time before _someone_ came out with a product like this. (In fact, what they announced here today almost seems like a cross between a Microsoft Hololens and an Oculus Santa Cruz headset.) The real innovation Magic Leap seems to be bringing to the table is their "lightfield" display; though it's hard for me to judge how big of a deal that will be without trying it for myself.
Also, the form factor makes me want to vomit. Look there are 2 possible market segments you could go for that might buy this thing - the staid corporate type that is potentially looking for a toy that they can convince their SO is actually for work. In that case it should look like a pair of chunky raybans or horn rim glasses. The other segment is the hip crowd that wants to have something flashy and fashion forward. Just google "cute <insert preferred gender here> wearing ski goggles". People love those things.
Instead what they made is something you put on your face that makes you look like an asshole. No one likes looking like an asshole.
The cage that houses the cameras and the viewing screen is made of plastic. Any idiot with a 3d printer can make this in their garage. The important bits are all cabled to a hip harddrive anyway (also, really no wireless?). You have to ask yourself, if they can't do the easy things, why would we expect them to do the hard things (ie make this thing actually work)?
This is probably also what makes the projection bulky and why there are optical fibers running up (if it was anything else you could have used a single one). If this delivers what it promises, I wouldn't even mind wearing a light backpack for it.
And they are probably at this stage: https://images.contentful.com/bl73eiperqoo/2309lfO8h64WWYECO... so sure to make it to the form factor, but not pretty yet :)
No, that's where they were [almost three years ago]. They [now] refer to that early prototype as "The Cheesehead".