He believes they should have focused on making the headset and gone with integrating with a mobile device instead of an integrated SoC...That said there's usually a reason (low-level) engineers are engineers and not product people... but he makes some good points.
The one I most disagree with is "why develop Apps with ML when you could develop apps on Apple (iOS)"
Well one good reason is that a) game developers and VR/AR devs aren't necessarily developing on iOS already yet and b) it's an entirely new (potentially large) new market where you could become a top developer more easily. And they'd still have to build a significant part of their SDK on top of iOS or Android, no?
IOs/Android development is reasonably mature now and they're backed by huge companies (and other smaller companies who make dedicated tools for that ecosystem). It would make sense to build on top of that instead of starting from scratch.
Also, price-wise you'll never be able to compete with smartphones when it comes to bang-for-the-buck. The economies of scale are huge. These AR/VR need as much processing power as you can throw at them, it's very hard for a small team to come up with a competitive offering, especially for an embedded wearable solution. If they were making their own custom SoC with specialized hardware to enhance the AR experience it might make some sense, but as far as I understand they're only using off-the-shelf components. It does seem like a strange design choice.
During my masters in Interaction Design I kind of "accidentally specialised" in gesture interfaces (the pointing kind, not the touchscreen kind). So obviously I have an old-school Kinect, and later got a Leap Motion. This is exactly the problem with the latter.
Your only real options are either doing research, or doing some kind of custom job like designing an AR/VR installation for a museum.
I could see that making sense if it means you can ship earlier. At this point, it's starting to feel like the AR/VR hype machine has flipped from breathless optimism to cynical skepticism. If ML ends up shipping some $2000-$3000 dorky looking headset people will laugh and the product will die.
Honestly have massive respect for the Oculus team and their user experience, if I had to boot up Steam every time I used VR it would start to fall into more of a chore.
I definitely see value in stand alone devices for these reasons and for the casual users, but I do also see value in having top end PC power in a tethered device for creatives and serious gaming.
If they were going to use a 3rd party dev ecosystem and build their SDK on top of an AR dev tool, I'd expect Unity would be the top choice. Apple didn't really have an AR-focused dev tool until they publicly released ARKit in the middle of last year, making that somewhat of a non-starter for a company that has been around as long as ML.
With iOS, you will likely also run into issues with background processing. On mobile phones, the battery life is always an issue if you plan to do CPU/GPU intensive stuff.
Sounds much better approach to make the glasses smart and capable of working to some extent independently. Then you can have a higher level protocol between the glasses and phone.
We’ll know for sure if/when the first production devices go on sale, but if Shaq was wearing a real pair then I don’t want them.
Usually when people present something that is new an innovative you can understand how they did it. Take for example the new iPhone camera with Face ID. They gave enough details for someone to understand generally how it was done. You can look at the physical pieces of it to see how they did it. Sure Apple may have made some claims that were bending the truth to market it but the technology has applications other than security (animojis for instance). Also, it was an extension of previous technology.
When people do the same analysis with Magic Leap they find that they are outright lying and that they can't actually have anything to backup their claims. Instead they are trying to pass off technology that doesn't have the advantages that they state as something completely different.
Even charlatans can sell stuff and make a ton of money. "Can raise money" or "can trick people into buying" (remarkably similar, really) can not in any way be construed as a validation of a product.
Like you said, Walgreens, a major pharmacy specializing in real medicine, sells homeopathic crap. They also sell very unhealthy food and alcohol. They also sell cigarettes. Not because they believe the product is good, but because that product makes them money.
The best I can tell, once a dev kit is released they still have 3 or 4 years before they will be selling their hardware at a meaningful scale - if everything goes alright. Their burn rate is way too high, guessing by how many people they hired. They will need to have an IPO or they are expecting to raise Uber level funds. Maybe that’s realistic but I wouldn’t bet on it.
neither is possible with no revenue or only dev-kit revenue. you are overlooking the third option: do an ICO.
I have no doubt that someone is going to win big in AR. Apple can hit the ground running with all of these ARKit apps. Unless Apple really screws something up, they will have the software advantage by a wide margin.
I'm not convinced that either Google's Series B investment in 2014 or Sundar Pichai's board seat indicate that Google believe's Magic Leap has a high probability of success. The series B was now quite a long time ago. Google has had no trouble getting in to the same line of business as their own investments or companies were the CEO sat on the board.
In fact, if you're at all familiar with con, the best marks are the people who think they'll never be a mark and have a little bit of greed in them.
If the underlying development path of Magic Leap is promising, investors may
keep Magic Leap going for a decade even if they don't deliver anything.
Investors include Google, Qualcomm, Alibaba, Kleiner Perkins and a16z.
It’s not as though Google, to pick one example from your list, is some kind of techno-prophet; they’ve killed more projects than asteroids did dinosaurs.
See also, Gambler's Ruin.
That's only an issue if you are making bets such that a large loss will make you go bust. If you are facing that possibility, then you need to move down a level. If you can continue to make bets at your level, then the +EV will increase your roll over time.
The probability of failure should already be factored into the term "expected return"
Hate to be that guy, but wasn't Clinkle the last top-secret-many-vc-much-money startup that went bust before the product was even released?
But MagicLeap had huge funding rounds led by Google and Alibaba. They presumably did their due diligence and involved people who know what they're doing. That suggests to me that MagicLeap is doing _something_ that's real. I'm gonna wait and see.
> Google is placing a big bet on it: in addition to the funding, Android and Chrome leader Sundar Pichai will join Magic Leap's board, as will Google's corporate development vice-president Don Harrison. The funding is also coming directly from Google itself — not from an investment arm like Google Ventures — all suggesting this is a strategic move to align the two companies and eventually partner when the tech is more mature down the road.
For me, it is hard to believe to that a man with effectively a physics degree bought into that.
Apparently investing doesn't require belief in laws of physics.
Where in comparison, the HoloLens team seemed to take more care in the design of a large device on a person's head. Looking strange but functional.
It's a big headset, but I don't believe the set out to find the biggest person just so they could deceive people to think they aren't big.
Actually, it appears there's more on this now, but the video's audio is a weird translation of some paper or something.
> "In 1968, Ivan Sutherland introduced the first graphics driven headmounted display, of HMD"
Ivan Sutherland? As in: the guy who made Sketchpad? What hasn't this guy done?
He is genuinely not impressed by much and maybe he should be in some cases, but if you look at his body of work he's not just some yahoo brigading on magic leap hate and if there's a better technical voice on display tech out there, I haven't seen it.
On the one hand he says he says he used the whites of Shaq's eyes as a reference and on the other he states that the design of the glasses hugs the users head to block out ambient light getting in from the side.
There's a slew of issues with this derivation. To arrive at a number like 15%, without showing his homework, is as questionable as the marketing claims of Leap themselves.
I'm not saying he's wrong but it does sound like a lot of bias.
None of this is to say they have perfected it, or anywhere close. That will be a long way off. We have struggled with ambient IR light and glass since the days of the Wii and Xbox Kinect, and we still struggle with it now, and will probably continue to struggle with it for quite some time. It may well rely on getting LIDAR or something along those lines in the headset to truly provide reliable tracking in all environments.
That from the op of the Reddit thread, after explaining his incredulity thst ML wouldn’t have tracking down. Meanwhile Karl doesn’t seem to appeal to anything other than released material, patents, and physics.
I’m inclined to beleieve him.
From Guttag's article:
> Adding markers to the frames is a crutch to make up for poor registration and SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping).
> The counter argument as usual seems to come down to awe at how much money ML raised and from whom, as well as the talent pool they bring.
Hang on: earlier you seemed to be expressing incredulity that Guttag had claimed ML didn't have acceptably-working SLAM by now. Is your position now that in fact Guttag was correct to make this claim?
But if it's not reliable, then I can't see how it would be usable by the mass market.
People don't generally respond well to half of their visual world desyncing from their physical body, even if it's 1:1000 seconds.
Still think AR has a lot more potential than VR in the long run. Just need to get that "Yes!" moment where the technology has a perfect fit and use for it.
Hype and buzzword salad, I'm going to be taking that one with me into the future.
If you can't produce blacks, things behind AR objects bleed though. Your objects appear as sci-fi holograms instead of real objects. Reducing pass through light by 85% reduces bleed through by 85% and makes your objects appear 85% more real.
So that's what "more VR than AR" means. Continuity of context between real and virtual is the defining attribute of AR. Without it, you just don't have AR.
Because they might have no choice. The million (billion?) dollar question is: are they full of bull? That’s what this is all about.
He’s saying: they want to go higher than 15%, but they can’t. Not ‘they choose not to.’ They would have if they could. And they can’t go 0% and full VR because that would be admitting defeat, and the end of the gravy train.
It looks like their solution is to make the glasses dark, so that in comparison the display is very bright. If it is bright enough compared to the background you won't see what is behind it. Making the glasses dark is probably ok because your eyes will adjust (your eyes have an insane dynamic range).
Also, realistically even with AR you spend most of your time looking at the augmented part rather than reality (based on my experience with the hololens anyway).