Magic Leap CEO Thinks Microsoft HoloLens And Other VR/AR Systems Can Cause Neurologic Deficits

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Back in January, Microsoft revealed their Windows Holographic platform and the first device that can run Windows Holographic called HoloLens. Magic Leap is an another company backed by Google which is widely believed to be the competitor for Microsoft’s HoloLens. Just like HoloLens, Magic Leap is trying to change the computing world.

With our founding principles our team dug deep into the physics of the visual world, and dug deep into the physics and processes of our visual and sensory perception. We created something new. We call it a Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signal™ (you can call it a Digital Lightfield™). It is biomimetic, meaning it respects how we function naturally as humans (we are humans after all, not machines).

In time, we began adding a number of other technologies to our Digital Lightfield: hardware, software, sensors, core processors, and a few things that just need to remain a mystery. The result of this combination enabled our technology to deliver experiences that are so unique, so unexpected, so never-been-seen-before, they can only be described as magical.

Magic Leap’s CEO Rony Abovitz today did a Reddit AMA session and answered many interesting questions. When asked about comparing HoloLens with Magic Leap, he said that systems like HoloLens which offers stereoscopic 3D may cause neurologic deficits. According to him, Magic Leap’s technology will be safer to use than the current VR/AR systems.

There are a class of devices (see-through and non-see-through) called stereoscopic 3D. We at Magic Leap believe these inputs into the eye-brain system are incorrect – and can cause a spectrum of temporary and/or permanent neurologic deficits.

At Magic Leap we created a digital light-field signal technology that respects the biology of the human eye-brain system in a profound and safe way – and the experience is awesome – and unlike anything you have ever seen before (except for the real world) 🙂

When asked about whether there will be any health issue, he said the following,

I would answer it this way – our philosophy as a company (and my personal view) is to “leave no footprints” in the brain. The brain is very neuroplastic – and there is no doubt that near-eye stereoscopic 3d systems have the potential to cause neurologic change.

There is a history (for optics geeks) of issues that near-eye stereoscopic 3d may cause – but this has always been very limited use and small populations (like the military). We have done an internal hazard and risk analysis (like the kind I did from my med-tech/surgical robotics days) on the spectrum of hazards that may occur to a wide array of users. Frequency of use, duration of use, and the neuroplasticity of the user are all key factors – but because we are all people – we may all be impacted.

I personally experienced a number of these stereoscopic-3d issues – and would not wear these devices -especially knowing that digital light-field systems are on the way and safe.

Read his AMA here. Microsoft will be talking more about HoloLens device and their Holographic platform at BUILD later this year. We may hear Microsoft’s response to Rony during that time frame.

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