The news comes just hours after the company revealed a partnership with AT&T that will see the devices demoed in some of the company’s stores. During the afternoon stream, Magic Leap also laid out some of the first technical specification details for the device, which was first unveiled to Rolling Stone in 2017.
The mixed-reality system, which includes a pocket computer, headset, and controller, uses an Nvidia Tegra X2 processor. The system on a chip, codenamed Parker, makes use of two ARM Cortex-A57 cores as well as a Denver 2 core.
Alan Kimball, lead developer of tech strategy at Magic Leap, said the processor means that developers will have access to all three cores for creating experiences. One core will focus on feeding information to the graphics chip, one will focus on gameplay logic, and the final will deal with jobs like handling physics and audio. The GPU built into the Tegra X2 is Pascal-based and has 256 CUDA cores. Kimball declined to discuss how much memory would be built into the system but said memory shouldn’t be a hurdle for creating experiences on the mixed-reality device.
Other details that came out of the announcement include the fact that the operating system, called Luman, is in fact mostly a Linux system that has parts of other systems built into it and that the software is 64-bit.
The group in the stream also reiterated that the goggles can’t fully occlude an image, but do offer a high level of opacity and that there are different power profiles that the system can switch to while in use to conserve battery power.
During my time with a version of the Magic Leap gear last year, I was never able to fully pin down just how real the company’s light field technology was. A light field is essentially all of the light bouncing off all of the objects in a world. When you take a picture, you’re capturing a very thin slice of that light field. The eye, however, sees much more of that light field, allowing a person to perceive depth, movement, and a lot of other visual subtleties. The magic in Magic Leap is that it is meant to create not just an image floating before your eyes, but an artificial light field.
One of the big questions was about occlusion. I found that in a dark room, where the demos I saw took place, it could occlude a person. I also found that getting too close to an object made it sort of clip out of existence or allowed me to pass through it unceremoniously.
During the stream on Wednesday, the team talked about how developers need to do everything in their power to make sure that a user simply can’t get close enough to do that, or clipping will happen and it will take them out of the experience.
While Magic Leap is said to be coming out this summer (and you can clearly see a retail box for the device leaned against a chair in the capture from the stream above this story), they also didn’t say who would be able to purchase it or how much it would cost. Last year, founder Rony Abovitz told me that they had a price in mind, but he declined to share it. He also said the first wave of devices would be called the Magic Leap One Creator Edition. And that only creators could purchase one. What’s a creator? At the time, Abovitz said creators are developers, brands, agencies, but also early adopter consumers. “The consumers who bought the first Mac, or the first PCs. Everyone who would have bought the first iPod. It’s that kind of group. But it’s definitely not just a development kit. If you’re a consumer-creator, you are going to be happy,” he said.