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New display technology to shape the future

New display technology to shape the future

by Design SyncAugust 20, 2016

What is Magic Leap and how it could change the future?

Hidden behind the close doors in Dania Beach, Florida is a mysterious startup company call Magic Leap. Secretly developing what could be next generation wearable optical device. If you put it this way, what they have created and are doing right now could possible revolutionise the entire digital arena. So what is Magic Leap and how will it impact our future? At Design Sync we’ll dig deep to uncover what all the commotion is about.

Magic Leap is not VR (Virtual Reality) nor AR (Augmented Reality) but it is claim to be MR (Mix Reality) or so called Cinematic Reality. This kind of mimic of reality is similar to AR (Augmented Reality) however the key difference and superiority is its capability of immersing virtual elements visually into the real environment. From actual examples of Magic Leaps demo videos, colours not only seems to be more vibrant and solid, it also integrates with depth. By using a new proprietary technique Magic Leap’s device projects image directly into the user’s retina. This all comes from a silicon photonics lens which acts as a light-field chip. This is beyond the capabilities of leading AR headset devices such as Meta and also the Microsoft Hololens which uses stereoscopic techniques in simple explanation overlays projected graphics over the live surrounding environment.

So if Magic Leap’s technology is believable, it opens the question of how this one startup company have the ability to deliver an expensive research development into a full fledged product for the mass market. The answer lies in an overdose of funding from a series of investor including the tech giant Google and China’s Alibaba Group. In February 11, 2016, the Financial Times reported Magic Leap estimated the valuation of this startup venture to be US $4.5 billion. All the extra cash flow without a single product available on the market surly tells us something really big is going to happen. Connecting all the dots, this might be the reason why Google axed Google Glass because they saw this inferior technology is coming and decided to jump onto the bandwagon with a US $542 million investment. Adding to that, it’s logical to assume Alibaba wants to have a slice of the pie with their online shopping experience not only for China market but also with the rest of the globe with a massive US $793.5 million input.

To make this magical leap a reality, Magic Leap is said to be secretly in production with it’s units from the device and software and have team up with leading partners in the their respective industry to make it happen. The likes of Lucas Films, Warner Brothers and CG guru ILM and Weta Workshop are working on multiple projects together. The idea of Magic Leap becoming a reality, allows us to assume it’s forcing Microsoft to play its cards early than anticipated, pushing out the Hololens ahead of schedule.

With all this happening, we shouldn’t forget about Apple either. Are they going to tackle Magic Leap? Could this add concrete evidence that Apple is purposely abandon updating their computer line up because they predict the working personal computer is about to become a dinosaur element. Words have quietly been squeaking around that Apple have been hiring experts to work on a patient technology and to back this up Apple has made an acquisitions in 2013 for PrimeSense, the company that developed the original Xbox Kinect, for $345 million.

Magic Leap - MR Display Technology Design Sync

Notices the real object table overlays the 3D virtual robot character.
Magic Leap - MR Display Technology Design Sync

Magic Leap - MR Display Technology Design Sync

Notice the depth of field blends the virtual element for the real life elements.
Magic Leap - MR Display Technology Design Sync

Holographic within a the Magic Leap lens.
If Magic Leap is true to their capabilities this opens a wave of application possibilities and one could see the endless application use. It could be a tool for education, research, medical, entertainment, communication and much more. Not to say that Oculus Ref, Playstation VR, Meta or Mircrosoft Hololens can’t be successful in their own right, but with Magic Leap doing it in a much more integrated level of reality is a giant step up against their competitors.

With great experiences of realism, does bring concern of how the technology could be used. As Jessi Hempel from WIRED in an interview with Magic Leap’s CEO and Founder, Rony Abovitz mentions they are putting in place guidelines for wonderful experiences but also mentions free will that are beyond their control.

Magic Leap - MR Display Technology Design Sync

Could this be a replacement for the mobile devices?
Magic Leap - MR Display Technology Design Sync

A selling point of what Alibaba could use with their investment in Magic Leap.
Time will tell if all the hype becomes a reality, though we at Design Sync believe Magic Leap reality is happening right now. While there is no confirmation of when the device will be release and how much it cost. The consumers at the end of the day will determine the success of the product no matter how great or how much money any investors throw at it.

Wire tells an untold story of Magic Leap, the World’s Most Secretive Startup company.

The Dawn of Mixed Reality.
VR (Virtual Reality):
Virtual Reality (VR) is a technology headset which allow the user to enter  a world immersed in an interactive environment unlike the traditional monitor viewing screen experience. Generally constructed in 3D for gaming purpose. Oculus Rift is one of the leading VR headset divices available on the market.

AR (Argument Reality):
AR (Augmented Reality) uses computer generated graphics overlaid onto a real-world environment. This application of technology is used on the mobile devices or headset for gaming entertainment, education and more. Such examples includes the phenomenon game Pokemon Go.

MR (Mix Reality):
MR (Mix Reality) is similar to AR (Augmented Reality) however the key difference and superiority it has is that the graphics immerse into the environment making it more life like. From actual examples of Magic Leaps demo videos, colours not only seems to be more vibrant, it also integrates with depth.

Design Sync, looking into the future of technical design advancement.

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