Plantation startup Magic Leap unveils augmented reality headset

Device is set to be released in 2018


PLANTATION, Fla. – Magic Leap -- a Plantation-based tech startup with more than $1 billion in funding -- announced Wednesday that it would begin shipping its highly anticipated augmented reality headset in 2018.

On Tuesday night, Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz teased on Twitter that big news was coming. By Wednesday morning, the company updated its website with new details on the headset called Magic Leap One.

The goggles along with a small device that attaches to a user's belt overlay realistic three-dimensional images over real-life environments. Augmented reality or AR has been rumored be the next big frontier in customer technology for years.

Magic Leap -- which has been received about $1.9 billion funding from big name investors including Google and Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba -- employs thousands of people in South Florida. The Magic Leap One will be its first customer product since the company was founded in 2010. 

The company did not disclose the price or the exact release date for Magic Leap One, but it said the company would alert those interested through its website. 

The rollout was notable because the company's reputation for secrecy. The company has been notoriously tight-lipped about its work, leading some technology writers to question whether its deep-pocketed investors were being duped.

The news was accompanied by a lengthy article in Rolling Stone where writer Brian Crecente takes the Magic Leap One for an extended test drive.

"The billion-dollar technology of Magic Leap seems so effortless at times that it would be easy to underestimate it," Crecente writes.  "And in some ways, that’s one of the key innovations of the technology. It can feel like it’s not there."