×

Magic Leap Two Mixed-Reality Headset, Not Current Model, Designed For General Consumers

Magic Leap One Creator Edition went on sale today in a half-dozen major cities, but it’s not the mixed reality goggles intended for general consumers. That system, the Magic Leap Two, will include support for AT&T’s growing 5G network and will launch with demo stations and a much broader push, company founder and CEO Rony Abovitz told Variety Wednesday.

“We are going to be integrating Magic Leap Two in AT&T’s 5G cell network,” he said. “It is going to much wider. Magic Leap One is really about creators and spacial computing enthusiasts.”

That doesn’t mean that the system launched today is already outdated, Abovitz said the teams will continue to work on that offering software updates over time and that there may even be hardware tweaks as the Magic Leap One, which is version 1.000, evolves to become 1.1 and beyond.

Abovitz declined to say how much Two might sell for or when it might launch.

“Let’s focus on Magic Leap One Creator Edition,” he said. “We just launched it and we’re in early orbit. This is our Alan Shepard, John Glenn moment. Then we’ll talk to you about Gemini.”

Early Wednesday morning, Magic Leap announced it would start selling its Magic Leap One Creator Edition for $2,295 in six major cities through a direct order system on its website.

Abovitz said he spent the night before the launch “not sleeping, chasing my cats and dogs around the house in the middle of the night and making sure I could get up early enough for the launch.”

He made his way into the office early to join a number of employees who had slept there, for a pre-launch party that featured Magic Leap mascot Shaggle, employees decked out in wild customs and was a bit like a rave. The party continued post-launch, as Abovitz made his way to a “mission control” room that featured live tracking of orders and delivery.

In the lead-up to Wednesday’s news and the opening of orders, the company pre-stocked the six cities where the device is being sold. When an order is made, a representative from LiftOff contacts the customer to set up a delivery time. The device is delivered, unboxed and set-up over the course of an hour-long appointment.

“We’re taking a controlled step forward,” Abovitz said. “For the next month, we want to make sure everything is very high quality. This is the launch of our first product and we want to make sure it all goes well.”

Abovitz declined to say how much stock the company had to sell but noted that they’re working to not have much in the way of unsold inventory. To do that the company is using several contract manufacturers both in the United States and abroad.

“We make the fundamental components here and pioneered the engineering assembly, and were overseeing it at a couple of sites,” he said. “We have our internal targets and we want to exceed those.

“It’s important to me to get our systems into the hands of as many creators as possible and to get others time with it.”

In the lead-up to Wednesday’s announcement of pricing and availability, Magic Leap invited a small number of press to its Plantation, Florida headquarters to try out the Magic Leap One Creator Edition.

Those impressions, while not overly negative, all seemed to note that this initial device didn’t seem to live up to the hype that proceeded its release.

The Verge wrote that while the Magic Leap is “one of the best (if not the best) pieces of mixed reality hardware” they’ve seen, it still seems a long way from realizing the promise of the medium.

Wired wrote that their experience wasn’t great at first, hindered by a poor fitting, but that once it was working the experiences were creative and compelling.

While impressed with the driving technology, CNBC wrote that “we’re years away from the Magic Leap that’s ready for the rest of us.”

Abovitz said he had a chance to skim some of those articles in a “bleary-eyed moment” while keeping an eye on the screens packing his mission command center.

“I’m getting little glimpses to some of those stories,” he said, adding he wasn’t really bothered by the impressions. “This is our Apple One, not our iPhone Ten moment. This is the very first step of what we are doing. We’re being heads down and modest about what we’ll do next.”

Several previews of the Magic Leap One Creator Edition also noted the constrained viewing area I first pointed out during my time with the headset late last year, saying that while it is larger than Microsoft’s HoloLens, it’s still a relatively small viewing area. Others also compared Magic Leap favorably to the HoloLens, which sells for $3,000, in other ways. Magic Leap One Creator Edition sells for $2,295. Neither are really designed for the general consumer.

Variety asked Abovitz if he regrets the early hype and over-the-top videos — like the one of a whale breaching in the middle of a school gym — used to promote the product. If it created an unattainable goal.

“It’s probably best not to look back ever,” he said. “As we roll out and people realize what you can build — we have a really powerful CPU and GPU and a good coding team, a good developer can pull off some miracles — I think you are going to see people who deliver on the vision that we put out there.”

Abovitz also pointed out that not all of its early videos showed things that haven’t yet been achieved. Another early video showed off a concept for what became “Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders.”

“We wanted to get people excited,” he said. “But if you look at the Dr. Grordbort’s video, that was a vision of what we expected to deliver. Weta managed to create something that matches that or even exceeds it.”

The idea behind the early marketing, he said, was to free your mind. “I find that when creative people don’t have blocks, they go for it and make it happen,” he said. “We probably will never apologize about putting our vision out there and then driving to meet it.”

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Editorial Use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    YouTube Rolls Back Verification Changes, Says Verified Creators Can Keep Their Badge

    A day after announcing significant changes to its verification program, YouTube announced Friday afternoon that it won’t be de-verifying existing creators after all. “We heard loud and clear how much the badge means to you,” said YouTube product manager Jonathan McPhie in a blog post. “Channels that already have the verification badge will now keep it [...]

  • BLive: BitTorrent Live Streaming App to

    BitTorrent to Launch Public Beta of New Live Streaming App

    BitTorrent is getting ready to open the floodgates for its new live streaming app, dubbed BitTorrent Live: The company plans to launch a BitTorrent Live Android app on various app stores as part of a public beta test late Friday, according to a spokesperson. BitTorrent Live, which is also known as BLive, is being described [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Stock Drops After CEO Acknowledges 'Tough Competition' Coming From Disney, Apple

    Netflix shares fell as much as 7% Friday to a nine-month low, coming after CEO Reed Hastings commented that the November launches of Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus will introduce a “whole new world” of competition. Hastings, speaking at the Royal Television Society conference Friday in Cambridge, England, said, “While we’ve been competing with [...]

  • Facebook

    Facebook Suspends Tens of Thousands of Apps During Privacy Investigation

    Facebook has suspended tens of thousands of apps ever since it began investigating potential privacy abuses, the company said Friday. The apps in question had been built by around 400 developers, and a suspension doesn’t necessarily indicate actual privacy violations. Facebook began combing through millions of apps that made use of its platform after the [...]

  • tivo logo

    Tivo Plans to Launch Android TV Dongle, Tivo+ Curation App

    DVR maker Tivo is getting ready to release a new device that may not record television at all: The company plans to launch a $50 Roku-like TV dongle early next year, its new CEO Dave Shull revealed in a conversation with CNN this week. The new device will be powered by Google’s Android TV platform, [...]

  • Still from "Andhadhun"

    Microsoft Streaming Deal Lifts Shares in India’s Eros

    Shares of leading Bollywood film distributor Eros International soared by 38% on Thursday following news of the company’s link up with Microsoft to develop a new generation of video streaming platform. The multinational company said that its Eros Now video operation would work with Microsoft Azure to develop its technology in three ways. They seek [...]

  • Comcast X1 DAZN

    Comcast Adds DAZN Sports-Streaming Service to Xfinity Flex, Sets Launch on X1

    DAZN, the digital sports service headed by ex-ESPN boss John Skipper, is now available to Comcast broadband customers on Xfinity Flex and will be available on Xfinity X1 this fall. It’s the first distribution deal for DAZN with a major U.S. provider since it debuted the combat-sports-oriented service in the States a year ago. In [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content