Friday, 9 December 2016

Magic Leap Faked Video Demos


The Information has a piece alleging a less than subtle piece of mis-direcetion by Google-backed Magic Leap. The AR company apparently faked the impressive demo for its AR headset last year, using computer animators to fake the AR experience that Magic Leap was claiming.

It's alleged that this piece of chicanery was the driver behind around $1.4bn in investments.

The truth is the technology Magic Leap has developed doesn't appear to work properly, nor will it easily miniaturize to even the headset size that Microsoft's competing HoloLens is currently shipping to developers.

In fact the animation team responsible leaked details of a full head helmet-sized device requiring multiple connections to a PC. In other words a completely unusable AR experience.

Microsoft has undertaken a number of live demos of its products, including allowing customers and developers to experience the brilliance of the solution first-hand.

That's something Magic Leap is a long way from being able to do.

Its not surprising Magic Leap has struggled with getting this right. Microsoft has several years of experience with the Kinect sensor before the HoloLens broke cover. Given that the two products do very similar things its no surprise that Microsoft has managed to forge a lead in AR.

Sony tried to build something similar with the Vita handheld, early versions shipping with AR cards that could be used to merge real world and virtual environments at a very basic level. Similarly it has a number of software lenses for its Xperia handsets that attempt AR with a limited degree of success.

Magic Leap is clearly sitting somewhere between Sony and Microsoft in what it can achieve, but it would appear that it doesn't yet have any way of making the technology small enough to be viable.

If investors feel that the company duped them, they many never get the funding they need to do so.

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