All Sizzle And No Steak? Magic Leap Finally Releases Their First Headset
Do you have $2300 burning a hole in your pocket? Then you too can be one of the first proud owners of Magic Leap’s first augmented reality headset: the Magic Leap One.
Despite the astronomical price tag for a piece of hardware that has had virtually no information released about it, Magic Leap can’t help but make waves in the mixed reality world. If for no other reason, the sheer amount of money invested into the company is enough to put the secretive startup at the front of the industry’s consciousness.
In perhaps the greatest several-year incident of FOMO the augmented reality world has ever experienced, Magic Leap remains the undisputed leader in the space. At least as far as fundraising in concerned.
In 2014, Google helped facilitate a round of funding that totaled over half a billion dollars. Two years later, they raised an additional $793 million. In 2017, they raised over half a billion again. And in early 2018, Saudi Arabia’s investment fund added another $400 million.
The total? Over $2.3 billion dollars raised.
Generally, a company that raises this much money is expected to produce some sort of prototype, or at least release early working models to show investors where their money has been going. Not Magic Leap.
Instead, they’ve released special effects-laden videos that describe what their mythical “Magicverse” might look like, were it ever to come into existence. And with a valuation of $6 billion dollars, one would think that they’d be able (or willing) to produce something more concrete.
But at long last, the wait is finally over. And while it’s likely that no company could have lived up to the hype generated by Magic Leap, they seem to have failed to live up to their own hype. With technical specs similar to Microsoft’s Hololens (released in 2015, by the way), it appears at first glance that this new headset is all sizzle and no steak.
Brian Blau, a mixed reality analyst at Gartner, made the following comment about the release:
“When you compare them from a spec standpoint, all the billions that Magic Leap has taken in, all the fake videos they ever produced, all the hype they’ve generated is the equivalent to [Hololens]. They worked for four years and took a lot of money to build a somewhat inferior product to what the market is expecting today.”
Perhaps further frustrating consumers is the fact that this new headset is only intended for software developers who intend to build on the platform. With a price tag of $2,295 and available only in a few cities in the United States, it remains to be seen how many of these units Magic Leap will even sell.
What do you think about the release of Magic Leap’s new headset? Let us know in a comment!
IMPORTANT NEWS: Lucyd Update August 6th
Hello Lucyd community! Thanks for your interest and support. We have a lot of exciting developments in the works for 2018 and beyond.
1. The Lucyd eShop opened last week. This will be our sales platform for all Lucyd products. We have launched with four main lines of frames, international shipping, a variety of Rx and plano lens options, and more. The first four lines are Lucyd Loud, a Bluetooth “soundglass” that enables handsfree music and voice assistant; Turboflex, a line of durable, flexible frames; Di Valdi, cutting-edge Italian designer frames, and Lucyd Looks, basic frames with a unique understated style.
In addition to our in-house development of Lucyd Lens and Loud, we are continually researching the best tech and fashion forward glasses worldwide, to make them available on the eShop. We are also making ongoing improvements to the UX of the eShop, so please give us a few weeks as we polish the mobile and desktop experience.
Some of you may be surprised by our decision to launch an eShop, because this is a new development not outlined in our roadmap. But we realized it was needed to allow for the proper customization of our hardware to address the visual requirements of our customers, and the concept of an eShop for tech glasses was born. It has already become one of the only places in the world to purchase Bluetooth glasses with prescription lenses, and likely the only one to deliver in a timely fashion. It is also the first online store in the world for purchasing prescription eyeglasses using crypto as well as fiat currency.
2. The LCD token. Many of you are wondering when LCD will come into play. We are currently developing a wearable app for LCD to enable its use with both Lucyd Lens and Loud. We are also developing integration into the eShop for a rewards program, and redemption for hardware and software. We expect to have these utilities in the next 6–7 months.
3. Lucyd Loud, the Bluetooth soundglass, is still a beta product. We plan to make several enhancements to both the style and technology in this product over the next year.
4. Lucyd Lens, the visual AR smartglass, is expected to enter beta on time in Q1 2019. It will be released via the eShop.
5. We are also developing an app called LINK to improve the usability of smartglasses for common smartphone tasks, with a focus on messaging, navigation, social and search.
6. The LCD token portal at lcd.lucyd.co is temporarily down. It will be back up shortly with an access link in the footer of the eShop.
That’s all for now! Stay tuned for more updates, and upgrade your eyewear now at lucyd.co!