Credit: Magic Leap
The Magic Leap One Creator Edition headset is now available for purchase, but don’t expect to see them popping up all over the place. Magic Leap is asking an astounding $2,295 for the first device built with its mixed reality technology. We’ve known for some time that it wouldn’t be a cheap device, but Rony Abovitz, the company founder, said to expect the price of a high-end tablet, not a high-end PC.
Magic Leap is shipping the One Creator Edition headset to select states around the country. The company’s website includes a tool that allows you to check availability based on your zip code. If Magic Leap is shipping to your state, you can order a headset today.
In July, Magic Leap revealed the core specifications of the Magic Leap One Creators Edition. The headset features a companion device called a Lightpack, which contains the computing power and storage. Magic Leap had previously said that the device includes a Nvidia Parker SoC with a single Denver 2.0 core, and two ARM Cortex A57 cores. The Parker SoC is part of Nvidia’s Tegra TX2, which includes two Denver cores and four ARM cores. We thought it odd that Nvidia would create a new design for Magic Leap. However, it turns out the device includes the extra cores, but only half the hardware is addressable for Magic Leap software.
The Lightpack also includes an Nvidia Pascal GPU with 256 cores and 8GB of memory. Magic Leap has not revealed the clock frequencies of the Parker SoC or the Pascal GPU. The Magic Leap One Creator’s Edition also includes 128GB of internal storage, with 95GB available for storage. Magic Leap’s LuminOS eats up the rest of the space.
The headset also includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can drive the device for up to 3-hours of continuous use. Power is delivered through a USB Type-C port. Wireless options include Bluetooth 4.2 or Wi-Fi 802.11 ac/b/g/n.
Magic Leap also developed a wireless controller that offers 6-degrees of freedom control, without the need for cameras. The company didn’t reveal much about the controller, but an FCC document uncovered in June revealed that the controller includes electromagnetic tracking technology.
Magic Leap secured an astounding amount of funding to develop its technology and produce its hardware. In 2014, Google and other investors handed over $500 million, followed by a $793 million series C seed investment led by Alibaba in 2016, and earlier this year the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia topped up Magic Leaps coffers with another $431 million. We would have guessed that the company would subsidize the purchase price to accelerate app development. Magic Leap’s strategy doesn’t make a lot of sense. Independent and small-scale development companies dominate VR and AR app development. The big development companies, which have the resources to justify the expense of such a headset, have been slow to adopt VR because of the small install base.