> Magic Leap is about as impressive a piece of augmented or virtual reality hardware as I’ve seen. Other companies may have better fields of view and a more compact device, but they lack the variety of content that makes Magic Leap’s offerings shine. The early partnerships the company has inked have, indeed, paid off.
the author nearly breaking their neck stretching to find some positive way to frame this train wreck of a company/product
saying the hardware is the most impressive they've seen, but because the software from partners is good?
HN needs a moratorium on TC paid advertising pieces / TC in general
it's right there in the original review my friend, even the paid-for TC journalist has to admit the hardware is inferior and "janky"
"Ha ha, you'll be such a dork with our product on your face!"
That does not seem a wise marketing line.
Pepsi's "Pepsi Challenge" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepsi_Challenge) campaign from the 1970s and '80s is the canonical example of how to make an "actually, you're wrong" campaign work. Pepsi's market research found that the prevailing opinion of Pepsi was that it tasted too sweet, so people turned to Coke instead, just assuming that they wouldn't like Pepsi without ever really trying it. So Pepsi filmed commercials showing people taking a blind taste test of both Pepsi and Coke, and preferring Pepsi before being told which was which. The commercials worked -- they convinced people to give Pepsi a try, and enough of them found they liked it to drive up Pepsi sales for good.
The "you'll look like a dork" fear strikes me as widely enough held to be one of the biggest challenges VR and AR have to overcome to break into the mass market, so it's not illogical that at least some marketers would decide they have to take it on directly.
Ha, if you're surprised about that, check out what they approved here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8J5BWL8oJY
Less of a massage, more so the sensation of sitting on some large, undulating, lovecraftian leather mass. There was the accountable whine of a team of motors, and once every few minutes a sharp audible pop could be heard. God bless Mercedes for trying to cover this all up by blasting classical through the car speakers though.
Where I've found AR to really shine is in IoT settings. Take the real world with smart objects and add relevant data on top of them. That's the easiest thing to do, as the data is readily available and the UX is much more obvious than other potential use-cases. The real world becomes an anchor for the content and makes it much more believable, even when you lose the augmented graphics in the periphery as you move around.
There may be other ways to augment the real world other than IoT. GIS and routing might be one, though the tech isn't solid enough yet to put in a fast moving car, on roads with wide varieties of weather conditions. Medical assistance (though not training, again, that's VR). Logistics and shipping--previous experience working in a grocery warehouse, I saw that new pickers struggle the most with finding things, and the most successful pickers have memorized the locations of things.
ASIDE: I'm also very interested in augmented audio interfaces, spatialized audio through bone-conducting headphones, for a much better virtual assistant experience. I have two small kids and use Google Home a lot while I'm getting them ready to go somewhere or making them dinner. Having different reminders and features located in different parts of the house, with proper fall-off of volume, would be a huge improvement on our daily routine.
What does this have to do with Magic Leap? I would be very happy if all that Magic Leap had to offer was "slightly better HoloLens". The HoloLens has been underwhelming for a lot of people, but I think even today at basically 5 years old, it still has a lot of untapped potential. ML is slightly cheaper than HL, which is always nice, and it's running an Android-like OS, which might bring more developers along (though personally I very much enjoy UWP on both desktop and MR Windows). We are so close on so many different concepts that incremental improvements can't come fast enough.
I was able to play with a Hololens a few years back and although very impressive, the field of view was the showstopper. On the plus side, its spatial tracking is impressive.
The Hololens viewport is equivalent to a 27 inch monitor held at arm's length whose position is locked to your head and not your eyes which move far more than your head. So you wind up moving your head around a bunch with this heavy headset. Talk about fatigue. Then add to that you can't walk up to something to get in close for a look because the viewport is at arm's length, anything in virtual space between your eyes and the viewport is out of frame and invisible. So you can't lean in for a closer look. After a while of wandering about while gyrating your weighted head around, you quickly tire of it.
AR devices like these are pretty damn impressive and quite useful beyond entertainment. But they need to shed some weight, increase the viewport and therefore the immersiveness. Though, the holy grail and killer feature they really need is eye tracking. The key is to eliminate that awkward disconnect between the virtual world and reality by keeping things in line with your eyes and not your head.
You must have really long arms. It's a lot worse than that. But that's why I said it's best when you augment real world objects. The focus becomes the object, it maintains the object-permanency on its own, the graphics come along for the ride.
> Then add to that you can't walk up to something to get in close for a look because the viewport is at arm's length
That is a per-application choice, though Microsoft does officially recommend a near-plane of no less than 1m. I've personally been able to make experiences that were comfortable at 0.5m, if the graphics were small, and again, anchored to some real-world object.
Yes, better devices will make better experiences. But we have the HoloLens (and Magic Leap) right now. And clients are paying now. There is work that can be done.
"Worldwide coverage! No more dead zones! This will change communications globally!"
Then they saw the phone. And its antenna. And learned it only worked outdoors. And cost $2,000.
~$6B in satellite costs.
It wasn't a failure (I still use mine once in a while), but it sure wasn't what people were expecting.
I agree that the late 1990s marketing which was trying to sell Iridium phones to international business travelers was ridiculous, however. Once the new Iridium corporation settled on the actually useful market of government, military, disaster response, maritime, expeditions and M2M data they've been wildly successful.
The second and third generation handsets (9555 and Extreme) are much more reasonably sized and closer in user interface to a modern cellphone.
Interesting. I only know a little about the market and products and always have been curious (and on the occasions I needed it, good info was hard to find): What about names like Intelsat, Inmarsat, Globalstar ...?
If they had gotten things running just a few years earlier, it may have had a chance. Probably not a great one, given the slowness of iteration cycles of satellites vs terrestrial.
One thing that got briefly mentioned in the article is that the Magic Leap has an external computer, which you can put in a pocket or clip to your waist. It runs hot and it might cook itself if you block the airflow to the fans. Also, I've never heard of anyone needing to wander around for 4 minutes before the Hololens started tracking properly. On the plus side, Magic Leap has two different focal planes where HL only has one. Apparently this helps a lot in making users feel a sense of depth to the images.
And this is definitely very similar to Hololens. In fact the main difference seems to be the field of view. Other than that, and the fact that you wear the brains on your hip instead of your head, how is it any different?
I guess what I'm asking is, can you imagine an AR platform that you would consider to be different? Or will you describe every AR system from now on as "very similar to HoloLens"?
Everything else was very good - tracking, image quality, room scanning, etc.
Oh and I guess the input system sucks. That's one other big difference of Magic Leap.
No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.
<rant> I'm so fucking done with MagicLeap. Their head conman CEO, who is, absolutely and by all accounts, an absolutely fantastic showman and salesman, has taken so much money and so much hype that it's not going to end well.
Pretty much EVERYONE who has tried the magic leap headset has basically said 'meh'. It blocks around 85% of the incoming light , for fuck's sake. That's the first of a very long list of 'meh'.
Why am I so pissed off about this? Because it's going to crash the AR industry (already on its knees because of an overhyped VR industry) and set it back years. Already, and for years now, no one wants to invest in an AR hardware startup because "how could you possibly beat Magic Leap?
Fuck those guys. And the dumb investors who let themselves be fondled into throwing billions? Shame on you!
The same thing happened to lightfield imaging with Lytro (who took "only" a few hundred million in comparison). Lightfield imaging has been stagnant ever since they took too much money and sucked all the oxygen out of an entire industry.
But between the headset, computer, and everything that goes along with it, I've spend > $4k on this setup. So I get it that this is not the typical VR experience for everyone, but the issue in this space is one of price. I can't believe that if that experience could be had for, say, $500, that we wouldn't be inundated in VR stuff. Contrary to what I've seen in AR; even the top of the line stuff is still just kinda "meh"
Even multi-million dollar level D simulators don't quite do a good job at recreating the flight control feels, so I've given up on that altogether. But some features of the flight model --- things like P-factor, adverse yaw -- are better modeled in X-plane, and visually (at least out of the box), it beats the competition.
But the most immersive experience has got to be Prepar3D coupled with payware aircraft from PMDG. I know real Boeing airline pilots who actually have used it for training, and vouch for how well the systems are modeled.
The crime here is Magic Leap hyped the hell out of their product, took tons of money, was extremely opaque about it, and then severely under-deliverd. Exact opposite of Valve and Oculus.
Found the guy who read the Palmer Luckey "Tragic Heap" article.
I'm not allowed to give details, but from my own perspective, neither the VR or AR market are as fragile as you make it out to be.
Is it though ?
It looks like a product that is on the cusp of breaking into the mainstream gaming market.(barring 1 or 2 big pain points)
Movement and Full wireless capabilities (in a desktop grade headset, not Quest) are the 2 big pain points for me.
I do fully agree with you on the Magic Leap though. I find it unbelievable that it received the amount of funding that it did.
Full disclosure I'm a bit of an MS fan boy as they have paid my bills for going on a decade. That being said, I want a solid AR product more than I want my team to win [so to speak].
By comparison, I tried Hololens in a decently controlled demo and was blown away. The idea that Windows 10 UWP apps would 'just work' also seemed to promise an immediately useful product, and mature dev pipeline. Then I started seeing fluff pieces for Magic Leap which were also hit pieces against Hololens. This was when Magic Leap was little more than a gobble of wires in a basement and a demo no one was allowed to see. It made me mad but really just confused me.
Fast forward. The Magic Leap launches and it's lacking against most of Hololens specs and experience. The worst part of _that_ is it doesn't force MS to innovate to compete on price/features. Which makes me afraid that MS will keep it priced for the industrial clients that are currently adopting it and not deal with this nonsense in the consumer space and who can blame them?
Now a new round of paid pieces and promises of content contracts are rolling out. Even more upsetting cause when you _really_ dig into the details the _honest_ answer from anyone seems to be that Magic Leap is not really for even alpha/beta adopters.
Hololens 2 is supposed to be improved across the board and add a 70 degree FOV. Not perfect but a step towards the 130 degree sweet spot I'm waiting for.
Folks smarter than me explained that Hololens locked the FOV to 35 degrees because the math it's expotentionally harder when you start dealing with the natural curve of the eye + the curve of the headset lens + real world overlays. So I get it's a tough problem to crack if you don't tether it to an i7 gaming rig like the Meta 2.
If Hololens can just get down under $1k I think MS will own the market for awhile. _If_ they don't drop the ball....something they do with such frequency that it makes me wonder if the Illuminati is real.
Do people really hate Microsoft _so_ much that they'll let someone defraud the industry, and pay for pieces that are on the verge of lying just so they can support something else?
Capitalism needs a reboot.
It has a front-facing camera, but it's used strictly as a web-cam for "see what I see" calls and QR code detection. It does not do any environmental analysis.
About the only things they have in common is "they look like goggles".
Not quite, but you could get low Earth orbit.
To compare, ST3, the light rail project in the Seattle area, is costing about $54 billion. That could take 1 WA State resident to the Moon and back.