We have recently heard that Magic Leap has only managed to sell 6000 units of their Magic Leak One headset, despite it being $1000 cheaper than Microsoft’s HoloLens. The device has nearly equivalent specs to the HoloLens 2 and backing by major companies such as Google. It appears however that the company has been overpromising and under-delivering, writes a Magic Leap developer.

The Magic Leap developer (not an employee of the company) creating content for the headset reports that it is simply not very good. In a thread on Reddit discussing the poor sales of the headset Nostalgicbear writes:

I’ve been working on a project on Magic Leap for around four months now, and it has been an absolute nightmare. One of the absolute worst dev experiences I have ever had. I would never recommend someone to consider getting one.

  • The device constantly (multiple times per day) needs to be restarted because it randomly loses its ability to do hand tracking , image tracking , or some other ML functionality.
  • Magic Leap remote constantly does not recognise that the device is connected and needs to be restarted.
  • PCFs are not reliable, and are not at all in a usable state. We have to constantly calibrate our position using image trackers due to the inaccuracies in PCFs – especially when run between device sessions.
  • Basic features such as access to the build on keyboard are not yet available making some aspects of development frustrating.
  • The device constantly becomes so hot that it genuinely can not be worn comfortably as you really begin to feel the head where it rests on your nose.

The above is genuinely just a really quick overview of a few issues. There are far more that have made it an extremely frustrating experience. If anyone is considering getting one with the intention of developing for it, I would strongly urge you to reconsider.

In contrast in the same thread another developer notes:

For what it’s worth I’ve done development with Hololens and it was a great experience. Out the box integration with Unity, mature(ish) SDK and wireless pushes make it a breeze.

… while a 3rd continues:

Will quickly add to that: currently developing for HL2 and it’s even better in every regard, including the SDK. It is very hard to get right now, but if you can get your hands on one – it’s wonderful.

The Magic Leap One is, of course, a 1st generation product, but the company managed to raise more than $2.3 billion from investors such as Google, Alibaba and AT&T, but much of their hype appears to have been based on reportedly faked demos and large promises.

With the birds now coming home to roost, the Information reports dozens of staff have been laid off and two executives, CFO Scott Henry and SVP of creative strategy John Gaeta, have departed the company and that the Magic Leap’s next headset may be years off, as the company has run into “fundamental technology constraints” as they try and expand the field of view while at the same time squeezing in 5G and multiple colour options in a smaller and lighter headset.

In a statement, Magic Leap did not deny the report of disappointing Magic Leap sales numbers, but stated it was “littered with inaccuracies and misleading statements.”

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