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People are freaking out over the Magic Leap product that almost no one’s seen yet

People are freaking out over the Magic Leap product that almost no one’s seen yet
[Illustration: courtesy of Magic Leap]

Did you hear the news? If you read technology blogs, you surely have! Magic Leap, the company that is for some reason valued at about $5 billion, is finally about to release the product that they’ve hinted at for years. Now, we get to know why investors have been dumping heaps of money into this company that supposedly made something to do with augmented reality.

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But let’s actually look at what the news is: Magic Leap has published a website with pictures that show a nice-looking man with a goggle-like headset over his eyes, carrying a bulbous remote. The website lists some features about the product–its “digital lightfield,” sensors, chips, and “next generation interface.” It also teases a “creator portal” coming in 2018 that will allegedly give people access to the actual physical device. But you can’t actually preorder the product.

Yet, if you read the coverage from today, it’s as if every technology reporter has obtained the coveted Magic Leap product. TechCrunch writes. “It’s probably not the most understated product you’ve ever seen, but it’s not a helmet. Similarly, Business Insider, The Verge, Engadget, CNBC and others wrote about the website, citing the alleged features.

The only real information we have comes from a Rolling Stone article where the reporter was able to test out the headset. Here, we get a slight description of what to expect, which includes descriptions of a “science fiction world,” interactions with a robot, and even a human woman. We get a few paragraphs about the experiences–some are TV-like, others may serve as digital assistants–but the real details are still hazy:

I can describe the intent and my own thoughts, but I agreed not to divulge the specifics of the characters or IP. In many cases, these are experiences that will never see the light of day; instead they were constructed to give visitors who pass through the facility under nondisclosure agreement, a chance to see the magic in action.

Pitchfork was also given some access to the device, but didn’t describe anything except for an experience the company created with Sigúr Ros’s music.

Which leaves us with the everlasting question of: What really is Magic Leap? The secrecy continues to make technology journalists write even more feverishly, without knowing any real facts.

The only thing I can personally say about the company is that Magic Leap’s public relations department certainly earns their money.

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