One small step for Augmented Reality, one giant leap for mankind

It may not be obvious to us, but Augmented Reality (AR) has already taken roots in our daily lives. From face filters to AR games, this wonderful technology has slowly evolved and gained commercial traction. Unfortunately, most of these applications are mostly restricted to our phones. With the availability of smart phones in our modern society, the adoption of AR phone apps far exceed the ones of AR headsets. However, recent developments have brought headsets, such as Microsoft Hololens and Oculus Quest, closer to widespread consumer adoption.

Current Market
The current market for AR devices are quite varied. Here is a brief breakdown of the specifications of some AR capable devices.

Microsoft HololensMagic LeapOculus Rift SHTC Vive
TypeARARVR (Partial AR)VR (Partial AR)
Degree of Freedom6666
Field of view43° × 29° 40°×30° 110° 110°
Resolution (per eye)2048×1080 1280×9602560×1440 (single display)1080×1200
Refresh Rate120Hz60Hz72Hz90Hz
Target Audience Professionals  Professionals, previously for consumersConsumersConsumers
Price $3,500 $2,295 $599 $799

My Analysis
For my AR/VR headset analysis, I wish to take a in-depth look at the Magic Leap device. Having worn and played around with the Microsoft Hololens 1, Oculus Rift and Magic Leap, I personally liked the use of Magic Leap the most. Here’s why:

  1. Comfort
    Initially aimed at the consumer market, Magic Leap was designed for comfort. Despite having a separate pack for the CPU, this design removed a lot of weight away from the headset itself. The Microsoft Hololens 1 was incredibly chunky and the weight was distributed unevenly. In comparison, the Magic Leap was significantly lighter, removing quite a bit of stress on the neck from long usage.
  2. Realism
    Unlike the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, Magic leap do not display a virtual version of your surrounding. As such, it is more realistic in terms of its colors and the virtual object placed on screen. Of course, the Magic Leap is disadvantaged with the limited field of vision which restricts its realism.
  3. Headset Design
    For its design, Magic Leap is the most outstanding, with its smaller build and googles-like appearance, making this headset especially appealing to me.

Here’s a short video on the holograms generated by the Magic Leap device!

Written by Giam Ju Xian

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