First photo of Magic Leap prototype leaks

The only images the public has seen are the illustrations in Magic Leap's patent.

With investors including Alibaba and Legendary Entertainment, the secretive company is rumoured to be working on a head mounted display that superimposes 3D animation on the real world.

The report claims that the photo comes from "a source" who says the company is desperately trying to prepare for a board meeting next week. In one hand you can clearly see a battery pack powering the whole unit.

Does that mean this is not an authentic photo of what we can expect Magic Leap to release to the public? Rumor has it that as of January, however, Magic Leap's glasses prototype was empty and non-functioning. The prototype hardware was referred by the leaker as "PEQ0".

It's clear that the device, which appears to be a backpack-ish equipment with shoulder straps and gung-ho wiring, needs a lot of work before it could look palatable.

Once the images spread online like wildfire, Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz took to Twitter to put down some of the flames. This is reportedly a third generation model.

"The macho bullying atmosphere at Magic Leap fosters a dysfunctional culture which creates chaos and lack of process and structure, hinders the company from achieving key product deadlines (including launch, which has shifted back at least 4 times in Campbell's 1.5 years at the company) and, literally, prevented Campbell from doing the job she was hired to do or achieving the goals she and Abovitz had discussed during her initial interview: helping with the "pink/blue problem" or making Magic Leap less of a "boys club", the lawsuit says. But nearly no one has seen it, and the company hasn't said when its product will be released, how much it will cost or what it will look like. Abovitz explained that the device was merely a research and development testing rig that they use to gather environmental data.

The U.S. startup company, Magic Leap, had previously ignited the excitement over augmented reality headsets that may one day be affordable enough for the masses.

Some technology the company invented couldn't be applied to a consumer product, [former employees] say, and other pieces were so large and cumbersome they wouldn't fit into a device designed like a pair of spectacles-which Magic Leap revealed to The Information is what it plans to release. At the meeting, it is expected that an updated prototype will be presented to house the components in belt packs rather than a backpack. In order to enable images to have more depth and to look more realistic, it used a projector with a motorized lens.

Magic Leap is facing pressure after from The Information said it may have "oversold" what its tech can do and what the startup has shown off won't actually make it to a commercial product.

  • Arturo Norris