Magic Leap is an augmented reality headset developer that is working on technology that is a totally different concept from all the other AR and VR platforms that are out there. Magic Leap’s advisors, Boston-area serial entrepreneur Jon Hirschtick (most recently the founder of Cambridge 3D CAD software firm Onshape) stated, “When people say ‘Magic Leap’s 3D looks really better than others,’ they assume it’s better because it’s higher-resolution. Like how a new iPhone looks better than an old iPhone,” Hirschtick told me. “That’s not it. It’s not a higher-resolution thing. It’s a different concept for how it produces 3D.”
The way Magic Leap produces images is by replicating “the way your eyes really work” by bending light fields – rather than by tricking the eye (using “stereoscopic” imaging) as other platforms do. With other projected 3D images, the 3D stops working when close one eye—though of course, you can still see 3D images in real life with one eye closed. That’s what Magic Leap has figured out how to do—which has been “an unbelievably ambitious project.” This technology works the way you normally see things. If you use the Magic Leap device and close one eye, and there’s a synthetic monster walking toward you, you see him walking toward you in 3D.
Magic Leap is also pulling technologies together into a system that benefits people, but at this point they are highly secretive about what it’s been doing—with no word yet on when its first product might be released—Hirschtick said the company is “making great progress” on its technological agenda.