Magic Leap

The magic leap has been a controversial topic in the AR & VR community. After its release, we were eager to try and see if the hype amounted to what was being delivered. Being on the front of research around AR & VR as an educational institution, it was a disappointment finding out that it was not possible to order outside of the USA. In The Pocket, a company based in Gent, managed to get their hands on one of the devices, and they were kind enough to invite us, so we could test the device. After the mixed reviews online, our expectations weren’t very high to begin with.
Setting up the tracking took some time, but once this was done, we could give it a go. The first thing that comes to mind is that the product is rather similar to the Hololens. Quickly however one starts noticing the differences.
The experience seems more gamified. The menu, the applications, everything seems to be less oriented for professional use in the industry and feels more like a portable console experience, more comparable to the VR headset than the Hololens. This is also due to the level of immersion. Your view gets blocked by the frame of the glasses and the slightly bigger field of view does give this illusion of delivering more than it actually does, but it works. The controller felt reliable, however it’s a missed opportunity to take more advantage of hand tracking technology. One is forced to use the controller to interact with menus.
From a technical point of view, the mesh generation does seem to be more accurate than the Hololens, tracking feels solid, despite it taking quite some time to setup. One of the things we noticed is that, when leaving the application and starting it up again, we had to do the setup again, and it just kept going. While it took some time to find the points to satisfy the device, we could not exit this setup. None of the buttons seemed to react or allow us to exit the setup, which does not feel all that user friendly.
The device seems worth investing in for developers, to start experimenting and being creative, however it is perhaps not entirely ready yet to be rolled out to consumers.