First photo of Magic Leap AR prototype leaks out

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Magic Leap, a secretive, $4.5 billion augmented reality startup, is not so secretive these days.
On Friday evening, a photo emerged in a report from Business Insider (BI) that shows what the publication claims is at least one iteration of the Magic Leap prototype, being worn by an unnamed user. The unnamed source referred to the device as “PEQ0,” a stand-in derived from an internal prototype naming scheme used by the company.

Although the front-facing portion of the device isn’t shown, the photo shows shoulder straps, a head harness, and a backpack filled with electronics. The person in the photo also appears to be holding a controller of some sort or a battery.

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Business Insider reported earlier this week that employees at Magic Leap are “scrambling” ahead of an important board meeting where the prototype is expected to be demoed. The photo is what the device looked like as of early January, and according to Business Insider‘s source, there have been improvements to the prototype since then, and the company’s board will see a demo unit with belt loops instead of a backpack that looks “more finished.”
Back in December, The Information revealed some embarrassing details about Magic Leap after getting access to a prototype demo, chatting with CEO Rony Abovitz, and collecting accounts from employees who leaked details anonymously. Those details include confirmation that Magic Leap used misleading marketing material to suggest it was farther along than it really was, and statements from Abovitz and others that indicate Magic Leap may be no different than Microsoft’s HoloLens.


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