Magic Leap is back with a sequel to its original HMD: the Magic Leap 2. It brings improvements, a controller and industry-ready apps. Will it help revolutionize VR and AR technologies or is it just a leap forward?
There are many virtual and augmented reality headsets out there today. However, not all are the same. Brands in general bring their own touch of quality and style, but many of these devices have their own strengths and weaknesses. Specifically, their own goals.
For example, there are models intended for gamers. Some are designed for meditation and relaxation. Then there are those, like the new Magic Leap 2 headphones, that are built for the industry.
The Magic Leap 2 is the predecessor to the original Magic Leap Head-Mounted Display (HMD). It is a lightweight and ergonomic enterprise-ready gadget that brings improvements to its old design.
Developers and professionals will certainly benefit from it. So will consumers, whether as direct purchasers or as beneficiaries of what technology leads to over time.
The new Magic Leap 2 headset has a lot to offer, so fans of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) won’t want to miss this one. Let’s go ahead and take a closer look at what the new Magic Leap can do and how it can help industries.
Features a more effective 70º field of view
Right out of the gate comes the first of the Magic Leap 2 headset’s greatest features: an effective 70-degree field of view (FOV). It is easily 2x larger than the original version.
Magic Leap accomplishes this by adding height and expanding to a vertical aspect ratio. The result can simulate multiple focal lengths and create a more natural FOV.
As far as other AR devices like this go, this is a very big improvement. While the change is probably not that surprising given the nature of these developments, it was inspired by user feedback. It’s good to know that Magic Leap pays attention to what its customers say.
Includes spectacular image quality and gradation
The latest Magic Leap 2 headset doesn’t stop at improving the FOV. It also improves image quality to an unparalleled level.
Most notable this time around are its new image grading capabilities. Images can be dimmed to enhance the subject while darkening the backgrounds.
This will be especially handy when viewing AR and VR content, as these activities can vary depending on the need. For those wondering, you’ll be able to select when you want to enable this feature so you’re not stuck with it when you don’t need it.
Provides holographic abilities and a controller
A big part of augmented reality is the ability to place interactive 3D content on the screen that integrates our environments in real time. With an HMD, you can look at a clean table in your home and see a 3D object projected onto it.
Obviously the object isn’t really there, but it looks like that’s because the display between the table and your eyes increases the reality you see. The Magic Leap 2 headset does this quite effectively.
The Magic Leap 2 is able to produce higher quality holographic images. When combined with other capabilities like dimming we mention above, it further enhances the overall look of 3D objects. This will be important where greater attention to detail is required.
There’s also a new wireless controller that lets you manipulate and interact with objects you place in reality using the headset. It is a useful tool that can expand user options more widely. We’ll keep an eye out for other types of accessories that will also be available.
Offers a plethora of potential for multiple industries
There are a host of different industries that Magic Leap has in mind to benefit from its latest technology. From commercial manufacturing to healthcare, defense and more, it aims to reach a demographic that’s thinner than consumer markets, but still important.
For example, UC Davis Children’s Hospital is using Magic Leap technology to help prepare for advanced surgeries, such as the rare separation of head-joined craniopagus twin infants. Regarding one of the compatible Magic Leap apps, Dr. Veit Braun, Head of Neurosurgery at Diakonie Klinikum says, “I now plan every aneurysm case with Brainlab’s Mixed Reality Viewer. It says a lot when surgeons use the same technology to help with such critical operations.
Business enterprises can also find new ways to implement technology and empower their employees. The potential for using Magic Leap to train workers or simulate and solve complex problems is seemingly endless. The Magic Leap 2 headset will only serve to propel this further.
Is really a leap forward, but not perfect
Of course, it’s worth pointing out that the new Magic Leap 2 isn’t without its issues. For example, AR images are not always realistic. They can still have the usual aura that you tend to see in these gadgets.
Dimming functionality does not apply to all zones. The wonderfully lightweight HMD design comes with one caveat: being hard-wired to the main unit, which is a puck-shaped device like the original Magic Leap.
All of that aside, these quality of life issues, while they can be irritating, are also bigger issues for the general consumer and less of a problem in the Magic Leap’s intended settings. Functional use certainly seems to be the priority before convenience and style.
Despite the hiccups above, the Magic Leap 2 headset certainly seems to carry the ball further down the court and towards the ultimate goal of VR and AR technology. In other words, the new gadget is truly a leap forward. It will be interesting to see what new developments come from industries looking to take advantage of it.
The Magic Leap 2 is coming soon. Pricing is unconfirmed, but it should be just above the original Magic Leap device, which starts at around $2,295. More information is available here.