After improving hand-tracking and adding multi-user sharing features in the last Lumin OS update, Magic Leap has upped the ante yet again.
In the Lumin OS 0.95 update (accompanied by SDK 0.21), Magic Leap introduced tracking for eight key poses from varying positions, as well as the ability to recognize gestures without key poses.
Now, with Lumin OS 0.96, hand tracking has improved even further, with a 15 keypoint model giving Magic Leap One the ability to track a full hand with five fingers. In addition, Lumin can better detect near-surface gestures.
Between the hand tracking improvements in HoloLens 2 and the latest iteration for Magic Leap, it's no wonder that Leap Motion has begun to fall out of the spotlight. When two of the top augmented reality headsets can accomplish hand tracking without Leap Motion's module, there's not much room for the company at the high-end immersive computing inn. (Combine it with Ultrahaptics, though, and then you've got something else on your hands.)
Building on Shared World, an experimental feature for persistent multi-user augmented reality experiences, added in Lumin OS 0.95, Magic Leap has expanded its mapping capabilities in Lumin OS 0.96 with vertical exploration. This enables environmental mapping over multiple floors or elevations within a building, while maintaining persistence and multi-user functionality.
Magic Leap has also improved its web-based AR capabilities in Lumin OS 0.96, with support for the W3C Web XR standard in the Helio browser and expanded WebGL support in MagicScript, Magic Leap's framework for web-based AR development.
Shared World, Helio, and Magic Script provide several aspects of Magic Leap's Magicverse, the shared AR space where users across platforms can interact.
"In its purest form, Magicverse constitutes layers of applications and services built on a digital representation of the physical world created by the sum of existing spatial devices. The resulting experience is designed to be ubiquitous and cross-platform," said Yannick Pellet, the senior vice president of software at Magic Leap, in a blog post. "For cross-platform development, we seek to enable the creation of experiences accessible to all mixed-reality devices whether head-mounted displays, tablets, or phones. They should all be able to participate in the Magicverse, but many tools, frameworks, and standards must be developed and integrated to make the Magicverse a reality."
With five releases since Magic Leap One's launch in August, Magic Leap has shown the capacity to continuously iterate on its platform to add new capabilities to its inaugural headset. This "hustle" will be critical for Magic Leap as Microsoft prepares to release its next-generation HoloLens.
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