Magic Leap, a secretive augmented reality startup, is not so secret these days. An image of a prototype device was just leaked to Business Insider, which says the source referred to the device as “PEQ0,” a stand-in derived from an internal prototype naming scheme used by the company.
As the photo makes clear, the AR tech looks very much like a prototype, and one that needs significant work. It appears that backpack-style computing device is worn on the back and then tethered to a set of goggles that look similar to a Star Trek VISOR. In one hand you can clearly see a battery pack powering the whole unit.
— Alternative Dave (@redletterdave) February 11, 2017
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. According to that report, the prototype uses two different packs, one for battery and the other for computing power. That means Magic Leap is far off from its supposed goal of having a handheld device one could reasonably wear on the belt or keep in a pocket, as some patent applications have suggested.
Back in December, The Information revealed some embarrassing details about the company 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.