New technology paradigms have always been surrounded by skepticism as well as excitement, but when there is competition between companies at the bleeding edge there will surely be plenty of misinformation. Recently the CEO of a Google backed start up Magic Leap has claimed Microsoft’s HoloLens could cause permanent brain damage and to no one’s surprise Magic Leap has a ‘better’ and ‘safer’ competing product. Without giving any details Rony Abovitz, the CEO of Magic Leap, says consumers should avoid HoloLens when it comes out and stick to products made with superior technology.
“There are a class of devices (see-through and non-see-through) called stereoscopic 3D. We at Magic Leap believe these inputs into the eye-brain system are incorrect — and can cause a spectrum of temporary and/or permanent neurologic deficits.” – Abovitz
Currently there are no hard details regarding the device to be made by Magic Leap, but the known details are as follows: the device will be augmented reality, and uses digital light-field signal technology to project images. The issue Magic Leap sees in HoloLens (other than the product being competition) is the use of stereoscopic 3D technology which is the current mainstream method for inducing the 3D effect in movie theaters and current 3D devices. Today there is no evidence stereoscopic 3D damages the brain in any way, but Magic Leap has already done the damage by presenting speculation as fact to consumers.
Ironically Magic Leap and Microsoft are not in direct competition with these two devices. Microsoft made the point clear in their January 21st event that the big deal is not hardware but the software which has been developed to support holograms. Developers will be able to implement holographic elements into their apps and support next generation interactions through Universal Apps. These apps could run on Microsoft’s device or Magic Leap’s. The apparent clash no doubt comes from the heavy Google backing which Magic Leap receives, and the good chance Android will power their device and not Windows 10. This stands to be another example of Google trying to undercut Microsoft at every opportunity possible. Luckily it would seem Microsoft has a more mature product which is farther along in development and has already been proven to the press.Further reading: Augmented Reality, Holograms, HoloLens, Magic Leap, Microsoft