Slideshare user Alexander Jarvis, founder of strategic consultancy and ‘venture builder’ 50Folds, shared a presentation deck that he describes as, “Magic Leap, notoriously secretive had a presentation revealed which elaborated on many of the use cases, UI, design and user personas for its products.”
Now, bear with us, because these slides were uploaded on 30th December 2015, but we hadn’t seen them before and thought our readers might be interested to see them. The full deck runs to 197 slides and contains more info on use cases, personas and more, but we've picked out the highlights for you here.
Just click on the list below to find out more about what Magic Leap could look like...
The single most interesting slide has to be this one, entitled ‘Family Overview’, in which you can see the influence of sports sunglasses on the HMD. There’s also a cable protruding from in front of the left ear, with the suggestion that it connects to an en external processing unit (right).
The external processor is clear to see, shown here in a belt mounded position. The HMD is styled differently, with the connection cable exiting from the rear of the glasses’ arms.
Style It Up!
Here you can see Magic Leap may be considering distinct ‘families’ of HMD, with three versions of both a ‘Clear Family’ and a ‘Beats Family’. The Clear styling is sleeker, while Beats has a chunkier urban feel. There are also differing levels of audio, from no visible source to earbuds and over-ear headphones.
Who Needs A Mobile Phone?
The three elements here suggest that content is displayed on the glasses (obviously!), connected to a ‘Mobile/Grid Magic Box’. Now, this could mean mobile as in portable, but Magic Leap’s Chief Creative Officer – and self proclaimed Chief Game Wizard – is from Glasgow, UK, where cellphones are referred to as mobiles.
If he was involved in the production of this documentation, then it’s possible this unit will serve as a replacement to a smartphone, with visual content displayed on the lenses and audio through the earpieces.
The third element confirms the hardware will be internet enabled, as it depicts cloud computing – essential for efficient AI.
The documentation refers to a 'Totem', which seems to relate to a range of physical interfaces.
In this instance, it'is a pebble-shaped 'mouse' unit that’s an input device/controller, presumably similar to those shipping with Rift, Gear VR and Daydream View, in that it enables one-handed operation. An interesting difference is that it seems to be dual purpose, with the potential to be used as a desktop mouse or trackpad.
Other physical interfaces have been considered, including a die, scroll wheel, joystick and... what looks like an adult toy?
More subtle form factors include rings and bracelets.
These Totems could be prototypes to reach a final design, or could there be more than one?
There’s a huge number of slides dedicated to potential gesture based interfaces, from individual finger gestures to broader arm movements.
One expands menus in response to the user spreading their fingers:
Another shows a top rotary menu – think XBox Kinect’s swipe to navigate menus, but in three-dimensional space – with vertical drop-down options:
The Hula-Hoop interface surrounds the user with a waist height ring that could work well for a virtual workstation.
The Magic Portal interface opens a window for the user to view content. The diagram on the left shows a large scale window – good for, say, watching a video. The diagram on the right shows a smaller window that could be placed on an object such as a pad, for more discrete uses.
The Magic Portal could also be placed horizontally to view 3D items on a flat plane, similar to Wingnut’s ARKit demo.
Retail loves square boxes simply because they stack well, but what if Magic Leap intends to ship its hardware direct to consumers? Or maybe this is intended as a travel carry case? Looks great to us, either way.
In the diagram on the right, you can see the glasses wrap around the inner arch, which has a recess to hold the Totem. The base of the case is for power pack, cables and suchlike.
The Real Deal?
As for the authenticity of these slides, we’re always sceptical of information that doesn’t come direct from the source – in this case, Magic Leap – but there are signs that the slides might be the real deal.
Firstly, they weren’t published by a click-hungry fan site, nor by an unknown entity. 50Forms is a legitimate business working in the tech sector, founded by an experienced corporate banker turned entrepreneur and investor. Jarvis’ CV checks out.
The slides also carry the Magic Leap logo and are marked with the following text, “confidential draft – not for distribution – property of Magic Leap, Inc. - all rights reserved”. OK, anybody could add those touches, but we doubt an executive-level businessman would expose himself - or his company – to that kind of legal risk.
We’ll leave you to decide whether you believe the slides are for real, but if so, they offer a tantalising insight into the form that Magic Leap may take.
Steve is an award-winning editor and copywriter with nearly 25 years’ experience specialising in consumer technology and video games. He was part of a BAFTA nominated developer studio. In addition to editing TheVirtualReport.biz, Steve contributes to BeyondGames.biz, PocketGamer.biz, PCGamesInsider.biz and BlockchainGamer.biz, as well as creating marketing content for a range of SMEs and agencies.