Brian Merchant, reporting from Magic Leap’s developer conference for Gizmodo:
You know that weird sensation when it feels like everyone around
you is participating in some mild mass hallucination, and you
missed the dosing? The old ‘what am I possibly missing here’
phenomenon? That’s how I felt at LEAP a lot of the time, amidst
crowds of people dropping buzzwords and acronym soup at light
speed, and then again while I was reading reviews of the device
afterwards — somehow, despite years of failing to deliver
anything of substance, lots of the press is still in Leap’s
“This is more like the Apple Newton than the Apple iPhone,” one
venture capitalist told me. It’s something that I thought about
a lot as I moved from demo to demo, listened to keynotes, and
sat in on developer meetings. Magic Leap has spent over half a
decade and quite actually billions of dollars, and has not yet
come up with something particularly compelling to do with its
allegedly world-transforming computing system, besides shoot
robots in the face.
I’d say this is unfair to the Newton. The Newton was a complete system. It worked, and it was good. Its experience was a cohesive whole. Its problem was that it was ahead of its time — we now know mobile devices need ubiquitous wireless networking, and when the Newton debuted, we didn’t even have Wi-Fi, let alone cellular data. Magic Leap isn’t even a cohesive whole.
Anyway, great piece by Merchant.
★ Tuesday, 16 October 2018