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Get your first look at Magic Leap's mixed reality headset

Get your first look at Magic Leap's mixed reality headset
December 20, 2017 | By Chris Kerr

December 20, 2017 | By Chris Kerr
More: VR, Magic Leap

Magic Leap is one of the most high-profile names in the world of VR and AR, having amassed billions of dollars in funding despite having never actually showcased any hardware. 

Now, after years of speculation (and a discrimination settlement), the mixed reality startup has given us our first look at some tangible tech by revealing the Magic Leap One headset.

The device sports a unique goggle-like design, and the debut model is being billed as the "Creator Edition." 

Magic Leap notes the "product is continually advancing and may be different at the time of shipment" on its website, but still shared a comprehensive list of tech specs. 

The headset itself will utilize digital lightfield technology to seamlessly blend virtual objects with the real world. 

A robust sensor suite will detect surfaces and objects, allowing for the digital reconstruction of real world surroundings and letting lightfield objects interact with our physical plane. 

"Whether it's virtual displays sitting alongside the computer monitor on your desk or a virtual panda that climbs across your living room couch, visual perception with machine learning unlocks the power of spatial computing," explains the Magic Leap website. 

Meanwhile, the Leap One's visual perception and room-mapping technology will build digital replicas of your physical environment, detecting and storing the precise location of walls, surfaces, and other physical objects. 

That means lightfield creations will stay where you put them, just as any real life object would. So, if you stick a virtual television on the wall during one session, it'll still be there when you slip on the headset later. 

The smartgoggles will also come with an integrated processing unit (that appears to clip to a user's waist) so it can deliver "high-fidelity, gaming-quality graphics with the power and performance of a laptop computer." 

On the audio front, Magic Leap talked up the importance of sound, and claims its soundfield audio system will mimic the real world by relaying "distance and intensity" in pitch-perfect quality.

The company also explained that the Leap One interface is being built around multiple input modes like voice, gesture, head pose, and eye tracking -- although it will also come with a handheld haptic remote. 

"This collective input system provides the tools needed to break free from outdated conventions of point and click interfaces, delivering a more natural and intuitive way to interact with technology," explained the startup. 

The Leap One will begin shipping in 2018, while the Creator Portal SDK -- which contains all the tools users need to start their journey -- will arrive early next year. You can find out more about the headset over on the Magic Leap website.

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