In Depth

Magic Leap One: release date and pricing confirmed in US

The AR headset can now be ordered - but in only six US cities so far

Augmented reality start-up Magic Leap has kicked off sales of its futuristic One headset after years of crowdfunding. 

The Florida-based company has raised in excess of $2.3bn (£1.8bn) in funding from tech giants such as Google, China’s Alibaba Group and the Saudi Arabia’s sovereign investment arm over the past five years, says Business Insider UK

That funding has been put towards the development of the One headset – high-tech glasses that use augmented reality (AR) to layer computer graphics over real world images.

From today, tech fans can order the Creator Edition of the One headset for $2,295 (£1,785), which includes free delivery and “help setting the system up and fitting the headset”, The Verge reports. 

There’s even a $495 (£385) professional package option, giving buyers the chance to swap a faulty or broken unit with a brand new one within 24 hours. 

However, today’s release is relatively small-scale as orders are open only to those in six US cities – Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle.

But Magic Leap says buyers can register their interest and receive an alert when sales of the headset open in their city or country.

How does it work?

The Magic Leap One is a futuristic augmented reality headset aimed at streamlining the way people interact with computers. 

Powered by a Nvidia Tegra X2 processor, which sits around the wearer’s waist in a “Lightpack”, the Magic Leap One allows users to control and manipulate computer generated objects that can be seen only when the headset is worn, says Trusted Reviews

Users can interact with objects by using gestures such as pinching and holding thanks to a number of motion sensors and touch-sensitive pads, the tech site says. 

This is by no means new in the tech world as Microsoft launched its $3,000 (£2,300) HoloLens headset in 2016, which offered a similar feature set. 

What sets the Magic Leap One apart, though, is its ability to let in more natural light - combined with softer authentic light rays - to create an image that’s easier on the user’s eyes, Ars Technica reports.

Although many AR headsets take the form of a developer-only kit when they launch, Magic Leap chief Rony Abovitz told The Verge that the One headset is a “full-blown, working consumer-grade product”.

But the tech site argues that the first batch of Creator Edition products are mainly aimed at software developers, who can build their own apps for the Magic Leap World software store. 

Can you use glasses with it?

No, but that shouldn’t stop those with sight difficulties who are interested in experimenting with AR technology. 

That’s because Magic Leap will sell prescription lenses for an additional fee, but CNet says users with “really bad” eyesight may want to opt for contact lenses instead. 

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