The ever-mysterious augmented reality startup Magic Leap has come out of hiding with its first ever product: a headset with a portable computer pack and controller.
The product, dubbed Magic Leap One, is set to ship next year, and it is built for developers, designers and creatives, according to a company announcement this morning. In addition to the new hardware, the notoriously secretive startup will open up a software development kit to help developers build on the platform.
— Magic Leap (@magicleap) December 20, 2017
Magic Leap didn’t say how much its new device will cost, and no word on general consumer availability either.
Florida-based Magic Leap opened an office in Seattle last year, looking to take advantage of the area’s growing clout as a virtual reality hub. Facebook-owned Oculus is making a big hiring push in the Seattle area and could be in line for a big real estate expansion. Microsoft has the high-end HoloLens headset, which recently expanded to 29 new countries. Valve, which works with HTC on the Vive headset, is based in Redmond’s neighbor of Bellevue, Wash. HTC’s Creative Labs offices are in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.
Magic Leap One is composed of three main devices. The “Lightwear” glasses have a unique look that stands out from other virtual reality headsets. The “Lightpack” is a pocket-size cylindrical computer that powers the device, allowing users a higher degree of freedom from most virtual reality headsets that are tethered to a computer. And the controller offers “six degrees of freedom” with what a appears to be a thumb-operated control pad.
Though it has kept its plans mostly close to the vest, save for a couple of public displays, Magic Leap has managed to compile a massive war-chest from an all-star cast of investors. The startup has raised close to $1.9 billion in its lifetime, from heavy hitters like Google, Alibaba, Andreessen Horowitz, Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital and others.