Hype-to-English Translation Of Magic Leap’s Recode Interview

Introduction

I found Rony Abovitz’s, CEO of Magic Leap, responses in Recode’s February 13, 2018, Interview to be like cotton candy, full of air and with no nutrients. In my prior article, I was able to confirm that Magic Leap is using diffractive waveguides based on the still frames from a prerecorded “informercial” video with Shaq. This article is following up on the content, or lack thereof, of what was said.

I have provided below most of the text of what Rony Abovitz (hereafter Rony) responses. Occasionally, I will follow with my “translation” from Hype to English (a bit tongue in cheek) as well as add some commentary. I left the text in order except where I thought it best to group related subject matter.

To generate the transcripts below, I started with Youtube’s computer-generated transcript and then added punctuation and who was speaking. I then made minimal corrections to make it readable and to correct the computer generated transcript errors. I have including the time tag for the moderator questions that led to Rony’s responses so you can listen to the audio if you feel it necessary.

To make it easier for you to see who was talking, I color coded each of the speakers. All my comments are in black. Key:

Bold Purple= Moderator question (underlining is my added emphasis)

Dark Red = Rony Abovitz, Magic Leap CEO  (Bold = added emphasis by me)

Dark Cyan = Adam Silver, NBA commissioner (I cut out most of his comments as they were related to the NBA or just generic platitudes about Magic Leap)

{For anyone that might be interested in reading the entire interview with the speakers identified and without my commentary, I have uploaded my “early working draft” which has the entire interview in order here. Note, there are a few errors as to who was speaking that I found later that are not reflected in this draft}

Rony’s Justification For Lightfield Hype

2:44 MOD:  I think everyone in this room knows what magic leap is but just on the off chance they don’t let’s just describe what the company is what you’re working on

Rony: Okay, we’re building a new computer platform, and our theory is that you know the economy was based on like this information age. And computing is really based upon transfer of information but kind of the got was its human experience is not just data it’s its emotion. It’s like feeling a presence and like something more than just data, and really we’re building a computer for what we think of as the age of experience or experience economy

KG Translation: “We are building a computer system and it is going to be really good.”

3:39 Mod: It’s what most of us call “Augmented Reality”

Rony: Right you’re looking through it you can see the world and get you can bring

Adam: He gets upset when you call it that

3:46 Yeah I know

So the reason I call it spatial computing with digital light field and I’ll give you the reason. So AR today tends to mean I hold up a phone and I see like stickers through a pass-through video.  And there’s like all these really cool AR tools, but most the world associates that with holding a phone up.  And our device or technology experience are all fundamentally different from that so there used to be like the idea of augmented reality and science fiction that we’re closer to, but the pop-culture word AR doesn’t really apply to what we do anymore.

KG Translation: “Everyone else it hyping AR, so I need a new and bigger hype word, Microsoft called what they are doing Holograms [which they are not], and so I am going to hype “digital light fields” [which they are not] which sounds more high-tech.”

KG Comment: Light Fields are a well-understood concept and not what Magic Leap is doing, they are just appropriating the term Nvidia’s paper(as an example of a true light field display see ). Magic Leap was going to be using “Focus Planes,” but recent evidence suggests that they will support at most two (and perhaps one) as the concept ran up against the reality of what it would take to build it. What they are left with is something very similar to what Hololens it doing, namely diffractive waveguides.

I wish the moderator would have asked, “How is Magic Leap One different than Hololens?” As have shown in the article Magic Leap Display Developments Revealed in 2017 – Part 1 there is very little difference between what Magic Leap is doing now and what Hololens has been doing for years, namely diffraction waveguides (see below). There is every reason to believe that Magic Leap will have the same issues as any other diffractive waveguide.

Hype Salad

4:17 Moderator: So the story about you guys is you have this amazing technology everyone who goes down to Florida and signs an NDA comes back, and I can’t tell you about it, but it’s amazing.  We could talk about some of that back history you did not bring the product here on stage we can’t see it. And part of the challenge of even talking about this stuff is that you have to wear it to experience it. I have not been to Florida I have not signed your NDA I don’t know what it’s like we wanted to try to tell people a little bit more about it though right.

Rony: Yeah sure so what we revealed it’s uh there’s a component we called Lightwear™ [the headset part] which is really an important part of what I think of as spatial computing. Its senses you so we’re actually you get like emotional state you can get like information and biomarkers about a person you sense the world around you because if you don’t have context and you just have like something floating in space makes no sense.

And then we really spent some massive amount of effort and capital building a digital light field signal. And all of that is really to look at your eye and brain evolved for millions of years into something that’s many billions of years old. Like the physics of how light in the universe works with your biology. Our goal was like, let’s not screw that up. And to not screw that up record going down a very difficult path and trying to understand what is going on there.

Like what’s the physics? What’s the neurotechnology what’s the neuroanatomy happening and going that’s not off-the-shelf stuff? And how do we like gently slipstream into that and not disrupt things so we want to talk to the visual cortex in a really biologically friendly way and that was this whole effort to make something new? So that you can put something on and have experiences that really feel kind of Magic Leap so

KG Translation: “Let me throw out a lot of words that that talk about what I hope to do someday in the future.” “We spent a lot of money on this stuff, so it must be good, right?” “We do pretty much what every other headset such as Hololens does, but I am going to make it sound really scientific like we have had a breakthrough in connecting to your brain and all but rewrote the laws of physics.”

KG Comments: Lightwear is Magic Leap’s term for the headset which has some sensors, but little computing. The computing is in the large Lightpack that appear to be about 3 or 4 times bigger than a cell phone in volume and connected to the headset by a cable. Rony seems to be trying to imply that the display of an image is “spatial computing.”

Definition of Biomarker:  “A biomarker is a measurable substance in an organism whose presence is indicative of some phenomenon such as disease, infection, or environmental exposure.” So is Rony saying that other people are going to have implants that measure the chemicals in their body and sent it to you?

{Early on the Moderator asked open questions and let Rony ramble. But starting at about 20 minutes, the question became more pointed. Below is a sequence where the moderator follows up on this same subject but with more direct questions}

20:34 MOD: One of the other parts of the Magic Leap narrative is people going on to Florida. They sign the NDA they say it’s amazing. And then they say quietly; I don’t I don’t think this thing is/can be a product. It seems like they are ways away from making this an actual product that consumers can get their hands on. There was a piece a year and a half ago that said you guys were having real trouble with. That you’ve been working on us for years. You’ve raised two billion dollars. What is what and you say this year is it’s coming out. What is the thing you had to solve to actually get this in people’s hands

Rony: So the company literally started my garage and if you go to go to Magic Leap fall 2014 the light field signal generator. It is like half of a room. It’s like this multi-hundred-pound gigantic beast, so that’s where we are, and all that was doing was the visual signal. So today we shrunk that down it’s a something that’s a nanostructure wafer. So we took microelectronics and large-scale optoelectronics, and we built an entire factory. Even designing the machines that make our wafers almost like what Intel might do for silicon is –

KG Comment: Magic Leap’s patent trail shows that none of their original concepts worked as I wrote in “Key Concepts” were impossible to implement. As time goes on, what Magic Leap dramatically changed and start looking more and more like what everyone else has been doing.

21:33 Mod: Was there one key thing that you had to solve before this could show up? 

Rony: So like we put a mass amount energy solving the digital light field problem. That was like number one, and then we had to marry that to perception. And really perception is computer vision and sensing of the world and you at the same time. In real time against what our digital light feels signal. It was like a bunch of nearly impossible problems incredibly hard problems. So if you were joining Magic Leap mid-2014 you were super brave and 15 you were super brave and 16 you’re super brave. [And by] 17 you know like obviously you could see the light. And now like it looks like oh it’s all these problems have been solved.  I mean the first few years of the company were just intense it’s like joining SpaceX when there’s just a hangar and a whiteboard saying we’re gonna go like shoot stuff into orbit.

KG Translation – “Trust me, we may not have known what we were going to do in 2014 to 2016, but we figured everything out after spending a lot of money by 2017.”  “After all the things were hoped to do didn’t work out or wound not scale, we decide to what something like Microsoft’s Hololens, only a bit better, and built our own diffraction grating manufacturing line.” “It’s just like Intel or SpaceX.”

“Borrowed” Concepts

7:44 Mod: This points to one of the big challenges right of what you’ve been working on. And what you’re eventually going to sell this year. Is it’s people talking about what the experience is like so again maybe you guys can describe sort of what the NBA version of this. It’s like, but then more broadly I’m thinking, this is a real marketing challenge for you guys. You’ve got a guy wearing glasses talking about what something’s like well —

Rony: Here’s the way we thought about it.  I’ll have Adam talked like there’s sort of amazing experiences like the NBA basketball. [It] has been around for like more than a century, so we kind of know what the great basketball experiences are. So there’s like on the court there’s courtside there’s like the skybox where you look down, and there’s like the sports bar, and we were thinking like what is the ultimate fan experience.

And like what mobile and television don’t really deliver but you have to actually go to the game or be a player meeting a player like actually meeting Shaq. Like he’s he’s like most people, I’m like 6:1 but something like Shaq  I’m like doing this [reaches up]. So actually, seeing Shaq was in my office a few months back and then seeing digital Shaq in my office last week like he’s staying ups like the exact same head perspective areas like in my office.

The idea of like presence you can actually meet someone, so there’s all these kind of super fan experiences were thinking about. So part of what we’re doing is like what I call like skybox or tabletop there’s like the arena. And and there’s all the players running around, and then there’s like something we call screens.

We could have like your sports bar you can get your sports bar on you have like five or six or seven or eight like televisions running different camera angles so suddenly you could be anywhere. Like we’d be sitting right here and just throw a bunch of TV screens, and now you’re watching like one game from two perspectives. Or all your favorite games at the same time. And then it’s like actually like meeting a player having like let’s say someone like you know what Bron dunks and now we want to see that right now. So like part of the court appears someone is here full-scale dunking a basketball. So all of those things are possible and what wanted to do the NBA was like begin to like collaborate space

KG Translation: “Let me just ramble on about a concept we hope to do someday and repeat much of what everyone with VR headsets has talked about doing, but if I repeat it people will think we invented it.”

KG Comment: Magic Leap seems to have a way of “appropriating” other people concepts and acting as they invented it. There is an interesting Gizmodo article from 2015 (recently pointed out on Reddit Magic Leap Subreddit by Nie-li) based on images from Imgur that shows how other people’s concepts find their way into Magic Leap patent drawings. Illustrated below are the concepts by others that made it into figures in Magic Leap’s Patent Application  US 2015/0016777 (there are others, I just selected a representative few): 

{Below the moderator points out that much of what Rony said above sounded just like what VR headset people have been talking.}

13:06 MOD: There are a bunch of VR experiences to let you sit courtside or ringside or wherever you want to be at a sports event they haven’t taken off. And then Rony you’ll say that your tech is much better than theirs and so for argument’s sake let’s say that’s the case. But the other argument is that actually watching tell television sports is great. You get million different angles you don’t have to put a headset on. You can watch it with your friends. Maybe it’s better to be live but watching on your couch is awesome. So what’s the urge to improve upon that

Rony: Well I’m gonna say like so let’s say we’re all watching together. And what we’re doing I don’t lose you guys we could be hanging out I can wearing goggles. But I don’t lose seeing you I still see you.  I could still see family could still watch your kids, so you still see the real world. And then you have digital things not superimposed on there just actually integrated into it. Like you may have a 60-inch real TV now you have five digital TVs that just appeared. And you may have a part of your family room that didn’t have anything there before, and suddenly there’s part of the basketball court there. But you still see your dog running around so you don’t lose the social aspect of being together.

That’s one thing I think that’s fundamentally important if you actually shut out the world completely. Then I think it’s very isolating so we’re not isolating you at all you can you can like watch a game go to your kitchen grab a beer. You’re still watching the game you say hi to friends go back and sit down. And it’s aware of what you’re doing like if you want to get up and go do something you can just pause everything. Because it knew you want you got up and went somewhere you can go upstairs get something. Suddenly the game reappears upstairs so have it has it’s awareness of what you’re doing, so it takes everything you love about let’s say normal television and amplifies that.

KG Translation: “But ours is AR, oops Lightfields, and they were VR.”

KG Comment: This issue is similar to why 3-D Television never took off, 3-D TV may have satisfied a small niche, but it didn’t fit the way most people watch TV in their home.

Per my prior article, the Magic Leap Lightwear goggles block most of your peripheral vision and about 85% of the light from the real world. How are you going to see all the real world things Rony talks about when you are wearing goggles that block off much of your vision and darken by 85% the rest? Do you normally wear very dark goggles (hard to call them glasses) indoors with your family that blocks your peripheral vision? Are you going go to a sporting arena and put on very dark sunglasses that block a lot of your view?  How are your family, friends, and dogs going to interact with you when they can’t even see your eyes? Is this even close to a realistic use model for most people?

One should also know that by making everything so dark, that the human iris is opening up to compensate, but this makes it harder for the human to focus. The iris getting smaller makes it easier to focus small objects (like threading a needle) with more light. So by putting on dark glasses, not only are you reducing the brightness, you are reducing the person’s ability to see sharply.

{Later the moderator comes back to question the whole concept and brings up the cost}

18:28 So this is not something you’re gonna dip into casually so you’ve got to get really great content like the NBA presumably how much more stuff do you need before you can make this

Rony: Also as a device, you get multiple computers. You don’t have to buy another computer you get a full-blown computer in your pocket. You have like this whole computer or machine in one system with a digital light field there. So the number of devices it’s potentially replacing, if you actually add all that up, like at some point. We’re not saying for ML-One everyone will go down this path. But your phone’s your televisions your laptops your tablets. That adds up to thousands or tens of thousands of dollars all get virtualized. So the economy of what we’re building actually can replace not on day one, but over the next you know let’s say Gen 2 – Gen 3. A whole suite of consume. Ok?

KG Translation: “Even though today you still have a PC and a cell phone, with Magic Leap you won’t need one. So even though Magic Leap is going to be very expensive, it replaces a lot of things. Oops, you are not buying this, I mean someday you won’t need one, maybe by Generation 3. OK?”

KG Comment: There is zero reality in any of this, even he realized it was silly to suggest that the Gen 1 would replace a PC. Why didn’t the interviewer bring up, “are you really going to wear these dark and view constraining goggles at a sporting event?”

Magic Leaps “2018” Schedule

{Grouped below are questions and answers related to the schedule.}

3:27 MOD: [A] wearable product

Rony: It’s a wearable product we in December we had a reveal so Magic Leap One trader Edition will be shipping in 18 [2018] they’ll be more news coming soon the next few months.

16:24 MOD: Rony when you said 2018 want to narrow that down for when we’re actually gonna have these things in our hands

Adam: that’s this year, 2018, it makes it sound like that off in this year

16:34 Mod: So, Shipping this year. May we get into that [roughly corrected due to people talking over each other]

Rony: We are continuously seeding early acts of developers. We’ve been doing that since last summer. So that’s happening.

16:45 MOD: You’ll announce more  information what are they gonna cost

Rony: We’ll announce pricing the day and date of sale

16:47 MOD: What are they going to cost?

Rony: Sometime in the spring, we’ll be announcing more

KG Comment: This sounds like the schedule might creep in the spring. Note, he said “more” and not the “price and availability”. 

Pricing – Low-End Version In The Future Like a High-End Phone

16:51 Someone who seemed like they knew something told me that they were ballparking it around a thousand bucks is that in the range?

Rony: I think we’re pricing it ‘s a premium computer so I would think of it that way

KG Comment: Most people are translating this statement to mean $1,500 to $3,000.  The moderator then takes Rony to task a bit about the price

17:04 MOD: It’s an expensive computer you’re gonna put on your face who do you think the audience for this first iteration is? 

Rony: So Magic Leap one we call it creator edition. So it’s people who are enthusiasts, developers, creators, brands, artists, partners, people that want to get an early taste of what the future looks. Like it’s not necessarily for everyone right away, but it is for people. But we’re not saying it’s all it’s not a dev kit in the sense that you know we’re not blocking anyone could be a creator. If you have like creator and you want to tinker, and you want to play with what’s coming, Magic Leap Creator Edition for you and

KG Comment: This makes it sound like it will be available to anyone to buy and try out if they have the money which is good news. We will have to see if Magic Leap keeps to this.

17:37 Mod: Where do you need to get it to pricing wise where you think this is a mass-market product

Rony: I think the Magic Leap One creator edition price point, we will have a product line in at price point probably for the company’s history. And we’ll probably have some above, and we’ll have some below so I think we’re trying to establish certain tiers like we’re not gonna be a single product company over time. So just like you know other companies have like you know they have a cascade of like you know really high-end for like prosumers professionals. I think of this as like prosumer-ish, and then we’ll have even higher end for like you know hyper pro, and then we’ll have like you know wide mass market right

18:13 Mod: That’s what’s a wide mass-market price 200 bucks 300 bucks you know up to that

Rony: No, I think I think magic leap is like you know like think higher and mobile phone to higher and tablet zone is probably our floor

18:24 That’s your floor, so that’s my iPhone X is a thousand bucks right?

Rony: Without naming anybody, yeah yeah, okay

KG Comment: It appears that Rony “capitulated” after some grilling. He admitted that the lowest end model, which is still in the future, will likely still cost as much as a high-end cell phone, the iPhone X at $1,000.

{By late in the presentation, the Moderator started asking pointed questions to Rony about the cost and utility of the headset. In the question at 19:16 below, Rony got a bit fluster and start rambling and repeated the word  “amazing” 6 times}

19:16 MOD: You’re out here with the NBA you’re pitching this as a consumer product. A lot of folks think that VR, AR, mixed reality, spatial computing, this is a this is eventually gonna be an enterprise product. This is gonna be something that the military uses you use in a factory; police use it, that seems more practical than asking people to wear these things on their face.

I think it’s totally about the experience.  I think right now what we’ve got is a mismatch. Like I call Information Age companies, like shoving information aids stuff onto a device which is really experiential. What I mean by experiential is like the visual quality has to make you feel and like it’s amazing. There’s no other way to get that.

It’s not like just data in front of me. It’s not a data appliance beautiful sound field like just stuff that actually moves you so that you’re, you know, just like you put on a really great pair of headphones to get amazing sound like a concert they’re not the prettiest things in the world.  They’re like World War II headphone cans, but you do. It cuz the sounds amazing and you want that’s amazing sonic experience. Then you have little tiny earbuds for just an everyday phone call.

So think of what we’re doing is people want an amazing visual, sonic experience. We’re putting that on versus like driving for two hours in traffic and spending hundreds of dollars to go do something else it’s not digitally brought to my home so the convenience factor at some point will be kind of amazing relative to like what you need to do to get that same experience in another way.

KG Translate: “It’s going to be amazing someday and justify the very high cost. Now, let me talk about the audio experience without saying anything about what Magic Leap is doing.”

Why No Demos or Videos?

22:19 Mod: And for a while, you were showing people this is what it looks like. And then you got blowback because it actually wasn’t what it looked like. It was a rendering it wasn’t the actual experience. Why you didn’t show us sort of what do you hope to pass through. You weren’t showing us what it looks like with the product on your face it was Shaq describing it.

Rony: So what we showed Shaq wearing is actually a Magic Leap one yeah he’s wearing.

KG Translate: “Let me see if I can deflect this question and use Shaq’s star power.”

{But the moderator follows up}

22:44 MOD: But you’re not seeing it from his eyes. You still have to put the thing on to actually understand what it’s like, right?

Rony: So one of the dilemmas was we did a shot through Magic Leap tech videos. And we also did like here’s what the experience is like. And it’s a little bit tricky because you actually need to experience it directly.

KG Translate: “That didn’t work let me try a different non-answer”. “We did almost 2 years ago with totally different displays and optical technology with our large demo systems developed by Magic Leap release a ‘through the lens video,’ what we have now will not look that good even if we hired a professional crew to film it.”   “We also release and ‘experiential’ video but we didn’t tell anyone that it was just a concept video and was not shot with any of our optics”

KG Comment: The key weasel words are “through Magic Leap tech” and notthrough the optics we are now using“. Those demo videos, which I analyzed back in 2016, were using Magic Leap “Technology” which by Rony’s own admission (and by my analysis) was very different from what they showed in the videos two years ago. The whole “experience” thing is just an excuse to not show what it really looks like through the current optics. With a professional photographer, they should be able to show what it looks like. 

23:01 MOD: Right

Rony: There’s not really a monitor. And this is probably the most interesting thing about building a computer where your brain is the monitor. And you’re not looking at a monitor. So you actually need to close the loop on the system. And you have to directly experience it. So actually filming that automatically makes that not the experience anymore. So showing that in the video was like very tricky because it’s not.

KG Comment: This is just making excuses. Yes, the whole experience won’t be the same, but you can certainly make good videos and photos of the display through the optics with the right equipment.

23:30 Really a real marketing challenge you have. To go stick it on people’s heads individually Adam

Adam: Well I only say about that I mean however you know Rony is describing it

Rony: We brought it to Adam

Adam: I think when you see it then he’ll either see there’s value or not.  I I think. I signed the NDA too, so I’m not allowed to say more, but I think it’s just it’s for the people here or watching it. It is I understand the challenge in sort of describing it in that video.

KG comment: The “or not” might have been a “Freudian slip” by Adam to leave himself an out. Maybe Adam does or does not personally see the concept, but they have this deal (he is representing the NBA’s position). Adam then verbally stubbled a bit and resorts to hiding behind the NDA.

{Then the moderator makes what was for me one of the best points of the whole interview}

23:54 Steve Jobs brought the iPhone Apple took it right his pocket said here’s the phone right, and then he sat down and

Adam: But I think will be it you know Rony will be at that point soon and then people will judge for themselves

{Unfortunately, the moderator then when on to ask about politics and the NBA and never go back to get Rony’s answer to the question of why are they not openly showing it to people have talked about it publicly for so long.}

{They opened to floor to questions and had time for three of them. The first two were long-winded, and the 3rd was mostly about the NBA. But there was one piece of news (I least I have not seen it elsewhere) that 3 NBA team owners had invested in Magic Leap.}

31:43 Q1: So I guess the question is how with the experience getting better outside of the arena right. And actually getting better in the home. How are how are the team owners reacting to a lot of these efforts? You know when you know that the experience in the arena is actually competitive to the experience that you’re building.

Adam: Well you know, first of all, it’s up to Rony. I don’t know what the rules are in saying their names but three of our NBA owners actually are investors in Magic Leap so that’s one way they’re reacting. {rest has been cut from his long answer as it is not specifically related to Magic Leap}

The Missed Answers

Hopefully, you found the above interesting. I thought would end with some of the questions I would like to see answered. Maybe the next interviewer could ask some of these:

  1. If you could show “through Magic Leap optics” in 2016, why not today?
  2. Are the optics today significantly different than they were in the 2016 videos?
  3. Why are the goggles so dark and isn’t this going to make it hard to see other people indoors?
  4. Why do the goggles block off so much of a person’s vision and isn’t this a problem with using them?
  5. How bright will the display be and can it be used outside?
  6. Isn’t the cable between the Lightwear and Lightpack going to be a problem? Isn’t it going to be snag hazard?
  7. What will a person with glasses need to do with Magic Leap One?
  8. How does your technology differ from Hololens?
  9. Is it waterproof?
  10. How would do you store it when you need to take it off?
  11. What are the use cases for Magic Leap One and are they practical?

8 comments

  1. This was extremely illuminating, especially regarding the pure excrement Rony is capable of producing from his mouth. Combined with your previous analysis, I’d call it damning.

    At this point my only question is whether this ends up unimpressive, yet essentially functional, or if we’re entering Juicero territory,

    1. Hopefully, you are talking about the transcript. I didn’t want to edit their words too much and be accused of changing the meaning of what was said. As I wrote, I only “minimally” correct them and added punctuation.

  2. Hi, I thought you were going to cover micro/mini Leds at CES, like ‘the wall’ , Just so there’s some 2018 display tech to talk positively about vs ML.

  3. Great article.

    This guy has the nerve to compare himself to SpaceX. Doesnt he know that SpaceX showed off what they are building at almost every stage in their development ? We saw the first versions of the engines being statically fired, first few hops of the booster, the dragon capsule being tested, several test orbital flights, some ending in failure and hundreds of videos of actual hardware in production/testing.

    And all ML has to show after 4+ years are 5-6 videos which anyone in the graphics industry can identify as fake/doctored.

    Here is what I am worried off: Technologically, if the actual product, if any, turns to be Hololens 1.1 then this will be a huge let down for our industry and will break investor confidence. There will be a ripple effect as financial analysts react to this by making negative reports of the AR industry thus impacting future funding for all of us. Most of the reports (Deloitte etc) are based on the quantum of recent VC funding into the AR vertical, the lions share of which has gone to ML. A misstep here will be really bad.

    I think the industry needs to step in and repair the damage before its too late.

  4. On the one hand Rony is incredibly annoying, but on the other hand as someone interested in developing for AR I’m still excited.

    If this is basically just a hololens with 3 or more focal planes and a bigger FOV and a controller, *that’s good enough for most applications*. From an industrial training and safety perspective it’s pretty much what we’re after, and from an ARsports perspective it’ll do the job too. It’s definitely a step up from MeLeap Hado (a bad passthrough AR game where you strap the phone to your face)… but at least they’re doing something.

    I come from the startup world where it’s all about “minimum viable product” – and this will do that. The hololens isn’t quite there because A: the point click interface is bad and B: it’s limited to room scale. We need to be able to go bigger ie. warehouse scale.

    Of course if there’s only two focal planes it likely still wont quite fit the bill, or if the outdoor tracking isn’t there, or it really is as 85% dark as you say (I’m hoping not!).

    So while the hype train may soon derail, I’m hoping that once the kit is out and people can play with it there’s enough dev interest to keep the work going with or without Rony.

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