Over the past few years, onetime supporters have grown skeptical of Magic Leap's mythical augmented-reality product. Now that it has released a headset, the Magic Leap One Creator Edition, can it make naysayers care?
IN RETROSPECT, MAGIC Leap CEO Rony Abovitz realizes that all the hype was a big mistake. "I think we were arrogant," he says.
It's nearly 11 pm on a Monday in late July, and we are in the back room of an Italian restaurant not far from the Fort Lauderdale beach. It's a place he often takes visitors who make the trek from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Mickey Mouse's Florida homeland for a demo. Oscar-winning visual effects wizard John Gaeta, known for his work on the Matrix and later at Lucasfilm's ILMxLAB, sits to my right, having joined Magic Leap last year. Former Samsung executive Omar Khan, who is on day 11 in his new role as chief product officer, sits to my left. Everyone is in a good mood because finally, I mean finally, after two years of boastful promises followed by two years of near silence, the company is on the cusp of revealing a headset that actual developers—and any old person in the wild—will be able to buy and bring home.