I Tried the Magic Leap Headset!

Aside from making me look strange, it was an amazing experience!

Emily Deneen
Dec 2 · 5 min read
Image courtesy of Magic Leap

What is Magic Leap?

Magic Leap is a super cool technology company building spatial computers, and they are the makers of the Magic Leap One Creator Edition Headset. The goal of this headset is to enrich your experience in the real world by providing a unique augmented reality experience. These include overlays of browser tabs, games, and even virtual furniture! I was thrilled to give the Magic Leap a try!

Magic Leap One Creator Edition | Encounter New Worlds

Initial Thoughts and Impressions

I’m still amazed that I was able to get my hands on this headset. It’s only sold in a few major cities, but you can buy it online. The price of the headset starts at $2,295! Although the technology is cool, I think the price is a bit steep. Fortunately, I was able to give the Magic Leap a try thanks to the Emmaus Creative Arts & Innovation Center.

Here I am, wearing the Magic Leap One Creator Edition Headset!

Apps I Tried

  • The Aquarium app was really cool — After scanning the room, you choose a wall for a reef. Upon choosing the reef, the wall seems to open up to show you a window of the reef. Every once in awhile, a few fish will swim outside to greet you!
  • The Wayfair app lets you put virtual furniture in your actual home. It even shows you the dimensions of the object! I took a ruler up to a virtual basket and was surprised to see that the dimensions were actually accurate. 😊
The Create app. Image courtesy of Magic Leap
  • The Create app is a fun experience! I was able to place virtual stickers on my actual walls, chairs, tables, floors, etc. Some were animated. I wasn’t able to place the stickers on my sister, which is sad, but it’s probably for the best. There were also building blocks that could be linked together. Some of these blocks include cake, sushi, and even a burger! I made a few boxes/rooms for characters. Which brings us to the characters! The characters range from knights to astronauts, dinosaurs to jellyfish. What’s even better is that the characters interacted with each other! The dinosaur would stomp on the knights, turning them into stickers, and then would proceed to eat the sushi blocks. The knights, separated in red and blue teams, would fight each other.
Magic Leap Studios | Project Create
  • Helio, the web browser for AR uses spacial computing. You can have multiple tabs in fixed points of a building, or you can have a tab follow you wherever you go. I opened Youtube and was able to watch a video with decent audio and video quality. You may also want to note that there is an audio jack and volume buttons on the clip-on PC.
  • Tónondi was a fun app that didn’t use the controller. It tracks your hand movements that make interacting with the virtual environment super realistic! Although I probably looked like a crazy person grasping fistfuls of air, pointing at imaginary jellyfish, and stretching invisible play dough while playing with it.. No guilt! 😜
  • Star Wars fans may be happy to know that there is a game in which you feed the porgs. It’s super cute!

Cons — Beware if you wear glasses

  • On the Magic Leap website, it says that the headset does not work with glasses. They partnered with Frames Direct to provide prescription inserts that can be ordered for an additional $249. However, I did try wearing a headset with glasses. It was a bit uncomfortable but still workable. At least it told me when to take a break? Unfortunately, simply taking off your glasses is not an option. I tried this, and the display, along with the rest of the room, was blurry. However, I decided to walk closer to a menu and was able to read it! Kinda funny. I would still suggest wearing contact lenses for the sake of your delicate nose bridge. 😊
  • Scrolling in tabs was a bit difficult, and I wasn’t really able to figure out how to do that.
  • The battery life lasts only about 2 hours, but I’m not complaining! (I say as I complain…)

Specs

  • CPU/GPU: Nvidia Parker SOC
  • CPU: 2x Denver 2.0 64-bit cores, 4x ARM Cortex A57 64-bit cores (2x A57s and 1x Denver accessible to applications)
  • GPU: Nvidia Pascal with 256 CUDA cores. Graphics APIs, per Magic Leap: OpenGL 4.5, Vulkan, OpenGL ES 3.1+AEP
  • RAM: 8GM (4GB available to apps)
  • Storage: 128GB (95GB available for apps)
  • Audio input: voice (speech-to-text) and real-world ambient audio
  • Audio output: speakers in the headband, and 3.5mm headphone jack (spatial 3D audio)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11ac/b/g/n, USB-C
  • Weight: Lightpack (415 grams/14.63 ounces), Lightwear (325 grams/11.46 ounces)

Helpful Tips

  • Avoid low lighting — The Magic Leap will prompt you to move to an area with more light.
  • The emptier the room and the barer the walls, the better.
  • If you use the keyboard, I would suggest controlling it with the trackpad instead of the pointer.
  • The device might take a little while to turn on, so don’t panic if you don’t see anything right away.
  • To exit apps, hold the home button until the app closes.
  • To close windows, point at the window/victim and press the front bumper (not the trigger). This will open another menu that will let you close the window, make the window follow you, share or move the window.
  • There is a multi-player option in which you can view each other’s avatars, chat, and interact, but I was unable to view this as none of my friends own Magic Leap headsets. I need richer friends…😜

Improvements I Would Love to See

  • A better fit with glasses.
  • A better scrolling mechanism.
  • A wallet-friendly price.
  • Although I have no complaints about the field of view, a larger field of view would be very nice.

Other than these items, the Magic Leap One Creator Edition is an amazing AR headset, and I am SUPER EXCITED to see the evolution of this technology.

Takeaways

  • Overall, Magic Leap provides a great AR experience and the games are fun and engaging to play.
  • It is difficult to use the Magic Leap headset while wearing glasses, but it is still do-able.
  • Although it is cool, the Magic Leap is not very useful, and I can not see myself using this on a day to day basis quite yet.

Special thanks to the Emmaus Creative Arts & Innovation Center.

Emily Deneen

Written by

TKS innovator - https://tks.life/profile/emily.deneen

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