Details on Magic Leap’s new spatial computing platform are continuing to trickle out as it comes closer to its summer deadline for shipping developer units. This week, we’re getting a first look at Magic Leap One’s 2D and 3D user interfaces, including Landscape and Immersive apps, which were found by TechCrunch in the company’s latest developer documentation.
Magic Leap describes Landscape as “the canvas for spatial computing in the real world,” and the place where “users can customize their environment and create a seamless experience between the digital and physical world.”
Landscape overlays 2D or 3D surfaces called “prisms” on top of the real world, with 2D prisms displaying text, icons, and objects in ways that will instantly look familiar to users of Windows or Apple devices. A Home screen has circular Apple Watch-like icons below a Wi-Fi, clock, and battery bar, while a sample media gallery runs nicely-spaced columns of photos together under a dateline.
One critical difference between Landscape prisms and other computers’ menus is Magic Leap’s lack of background graphics — everything just floats in front of your eyes as needed. However, just like virtually every current computing platform, the company has opted for boldly cartoony icons rather than photorealistic ones, quite possibly to properly contrast against the real-world surroundings they’ll constantly be visually overlapping.
Another key difference is that you can display multiple prisms at once. A sample image shows a 2D prism called Screens on one wall of a room, and a 2D Gallery on another wall, enabling empty wall spaces to appear as if they’re displaying a television and photo collection. In the middle of the same room, a 3D prism called Learning Tree places a realistic-looking pink tree on top of a table.
Immersive app UIs have the ability to fit into and respond to the geometry of the space you’re in. Magic Leap previously demonstrated a cartoony golem who tosses rocks at you from a living room or sofa; the Learning Tree looks as if it could be an educational toy, albeit a completely digital one that doesn’t actually need to be cluttering up your living space.
The company also revealed some seemingly basic OS screens, including a fairly standard-looking and decidedly flat 2D keyboard, as well as a floating 2D list of menu options that can be selected with your unassisted fingertips. These screens are most interesting in that Magic Leap opted for displays that look like what one might see on a TV screen, rather than trying to create a realistic 3D model of a keyboard or a depth-sensitive list.
This story is breaking and will be updated shortly.