Magic Leap Ships Its First AR Headsets To Devs Under Tight Security Protocols

Magic Leap One

Magic Leap has kept a tight lid on its augmented reality headset, the One, though it still plans on shipping the product to consumers later this year. In the meantime, it has begun sending out units to developers. In keeping with its veil of secrecy, Magic Leap is said to be requiring that developers lock the headset in a safe when not in use. That is not a request or a suggestion, but something developers actually have to agree to.

It is a bit of a weird request, though perhaps not all that surprising given how secretive Magic Leap has been since the beginning. After all this time, and as we head towards a consumer launch, we still do not know a whole lot about the One headset, at least in terms of detailed specifications and all that jazz. What we do know is that the focus is on augmented reality experiences.

We also know what the One headset looks like, in its current (and probably finalized) form. For everything that Magic Leap has kept under lock and key, it has shared out a handful of press photos. As depicted, the One is a set of thick goggles with camera lenses scattered around the front. There is also a strap that wraps around the back of the user's head, with padding for comfort.

A disc-shaped accessory powers the experience and clips the user's belt or pocket or wherever. It's basically a mini-PC that you bring with you, rather than having the components built directly into the googles. There is also a wireless controller that comes with it.

The idea behind augmented reality is to blend virtual objects with real-world surroundings. There have been some early attempts to leverage AR technology, including HoloLens. Interestingly enough, one of the most successful implementations to date has been Pokemon Go, an app developed by Niantic that utilizes smartphone cameras to place collectible Pokemon characters in the real-world.

As it pertains to Magic Leap, unnamed sources told Bloomberg that at least one company was turned off by Magic Leap's lock box requirement and turned down an opportunity to test the One device. The company undoubtedly would have been willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), as is typical in the industry, but agreeing to secure the One inside a locked safe was too unusual of a request.