Written by Steven Stumpf on January 2, 2019 · 7 min read

Magic Leap: our first thoughts

Magic Leap: our first thoughts

Finally, the first product of one of the most hyped companies of the last few years has finally shipped to developers and early enthusiasts!

Shipping is currently limited to (most) of the US, but we managed to get our hands on a Magic Leap One Creator Edition right in time for the Christmas weekend.

Magic Leap One

The Magic Leap One Creator Edition at our office

Magic Leap

Colleague Wannes had the first go!

Magic Leap One sensors

Detail of the Magic Leap One “Lightwear”, sensor array

Stating the obvious

Yes, it was overhyped, this has been established. No whales jumping out of the floor just yet.
However, it does give us a very clear perspective of how powerful AR will be, and where it’s going.

Is it useful for business in this stage?
We believe so, and are building a POC at this very moment. Stay tuned.

The difference between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

There is much debate on the exact definitions, but in the context of this article:

  • Virtual Reality brings the user into a virtual world (the other world)
  • Augmented Reality projects on top the physical world (the extra world)
  • Mixed Reality supposedly takes the physicality of the real world into consideration

The terms AR and MR are interchanged constantly, so we’ll stick to AR.

Virtual Reality varies from static 360 content to fully 3D worlds using for example the Oculus or HTC VR headsets.
Think 360 tours, 3D experiences, virtual reality games, fully immersed in sound and vision.

Augmented Reality uses your cell phone, cardboard projectors or the Microsoft HoloLens or this Magic Leap One to project images on the real world.
Think anything from Pokémon Go to the Ikea app, but more importantly applications for medical, logistical or defense (the US Army just ordered 100.000 AR headsets for their troops).


Augmented Reality app for travel

AR application for Travel bringing brochures to life with high-res content

Still with us? Excellent.

First Thoughts by a few of my colleagues

Sven, Senior XR thinkerabouter

Magic Leap

The Leap and the bunny ears in your Facebook video chat are comparable with Pong and the Atari 2800.

AR is going to be an always-on layer of an augmented world, on top of the real world, that’s inter-connected. People will switch devices, or turn them on and off, if they want to see and interact with the layer.

The AR world will always be there, through the windows of a self-driving taxi, or through goggles walking down the street, in their office, at the hospital, in training or doing maintenance.

Magic Leap One is a first glance. It’s the car phone from the 80’s. From here on out, shit gonna get crazy.

Bart, Technology Director

Magic Leap

The Leap comes with several pre-installed demos which we tried out.

  • The Angry Birds demo was pretty cool, but I miss interaction with the physical world. Now it’s just a scene planted somewhere, and that’s about it. This could have easily been done in VR which would probably provide a better experience.
  • One other demo, where you can drive a remote controlled car, was much more interesting because you can drive into physical walls and objects. Real world detection and interaction, like AR should be. However, it misses proper audio and it bores fairly quickly.
  • The last one is the Project Create demo, which is very cool as it really displays how an entire room is meshed in detail. Also, proper sound design and a lot of real world interaction. And funny! Very nice.

Sure, the field of view of the Magic Leap is a bit narrow and at the pretty steep price you would expect better, but nevertheless I see a world of opportunities for future and ongoing projects.

We at Poppr can’t wait to start POC’ing several ideas we have already.

Ylona: Management & Marketing Assistant

Magic Leap Ylona

This is really what you have been waiting for and dreaming about, when it comes to future possibilities. It is mind blowing to see a whole new world through the Magic Leap. The fact that you are fully aware of your surroundings and just have this extra layer of magic in your life. Especially as more of an old school computer games girl, I definitely got catapulted into this augmented reality like a puffin of the Icelandic rocks. Luckily you get to start over when it’s game over.

We already slowly see more AR in our day to day lives. When checking into a flight they now use AR so you don’t have to take out your laptop any longer.

This is just the start, a very addictive one, I’d say.

Wannes De Graeve, XR Producer

Magic Leap

How does it feel to add another layer to your reality you ask? In short, pretty awesome!

It’s the perfect way to make the world around you a whole lot more interesting. For now…
It’s not perfect, We didn’t expect it to be either. But it puts us in the driver seat of making it, and the future of AR a whole lot better.


This is a new ballgame

Floating interfaces, objects that interacts with the surroundings, projecting meta on the physical world, we predict a future where AR is going to miniaturized and available as a normal-looking pair of glasses or windows.

The world gets a second, digital layer where physics don’t need to apply. A digital layer that augments information, increases efficiency, safety or turns the city into a life-size Pac-Man game.

Practical application examples


AR is already being used for logistics, showing package details, the contents of shipping containers, projecting paths and locations on the floor and guiding to specific spots in specific racks. This will surely speed things up tremendously.


Since AR projects onto the physical world, one of the clearest applications is wayfinding by projecting the path on the floor, giving directions through arrows and indicating distance and travel time.

At the airport? This way to your gate.
At an event? There is the next booth on your list or the next speaker.

Museum guides

Not only can AR serve as a guide through the physical space, it can augment the paintings, sculptures, installations and other art forms with information, audio, video, even the artist him/her/xself explaining in 3D or captured video.

What about an empty museum with an exhibit that only exists in AR?


An important aspect of safety is ensuring that training is relevant, engaging, memorable.

Augmented Reality improves the conveying of information because of its impressive and visual nature, working with physical space.
Not only does this increase productivity, it can lead to prevention of workplace incidents and accidents.

Show routes, display manuals, instructions layered on top of equipment, tips and tricks, even detect sudden movement.


Gaming in a projected reality that uses the physical space has already entered our lives in a big way (think Pokémon Go), and this is just the beginning. The Magic Leap scans your space continuously and makes use of volumes, floors, walls and obstacles.

From Angry Birds on your coffee table to city-size Space Invaders, the possibilities are as huge as those invaders.

Interested in Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality?

Contact us for coffees, demo’s and insights!


Magic Leap One Technical Specifications

For the nerds (like me), here are the specs of this release of the Magic Leap One:


NVIDIA® Parker SOC; 2 Denver 2.0 64-bit cores + 4 ARM Cortex A57 64-bit cores (2 A57’s and 1 Denver accessible to applications)

NVIDIA Pascal™, 256 CUDA cores; Graphic APIs: OpenGL 4.5, Vulkan, OpenGL ES 3.3+

8 GB

Storage Capacity
128 GB (actual available storage capacity 95GB)

Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Up to 3 hours continuous use. Battery life can vary based on use cases. Power level will be sustained when connected to an AC outlet. 45-watt USB-C Power Delivery (PD) charger

Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi 802.11ac/b/g/n, USB-C


Audio Input
Voice (speech to text) + real world audio (ambient)

Audio Output
Onboard speakers and 3.5mm jack with audio spatialization processing


LRA Haptic Device

6DoF (position and orientation)

Touch sensitive

12-LED (RGB) ring with diffuser

Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Up to 7.5 hours continuous use. 15-watt USB-C charger

Other inputs
8-bit resolution Trigger Button; Digital Bumper Button; Digital Home Button

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