Rony Abovitz, CEO of the secretive virtual reality startup Magic Leap, took to Twitter on Thursday to defend claims that his company is overhyping its flagship product, a powerful VR headset indistinguishable from everyday sunglasses.
In a series of often-humorous tweets, Abovitz hinted that his company had experienced issues with early prototypes, but refuted a report from The Information this week that claimed Magic Leap may have "oversold" what its headset can do.
Abovitz is a biomedical engineer who co-founded a company manufacturing surgical robots before starting Magic Leap. He wrote on Twitter that Magic Leap's factory is currently churning out limited test runs of its first VR system, which he described as "small, sleek, cool."
"For our launch: everyone - skeptics and friends alike - will be able to try Magic Leap for themselves," Abovitz wrote. He also retweeted a glowing report from Benedict Evans, a venture capitalist at the Silicon Valley firm Andreessen Horowitz, who likened Magic Leap's wow factor to the first iPhone.
The Information, meanwhile, obtained a rare demonstration from Magic Leap, which along with interviews with former employees was the basis for a story published on Thursday claiming the company might not be able to deliver on its promises. The Information cited former employees who said that much of the technology that Magic Leap initially promised investors won't be in the product it plans for commercial release.
Magic Leap has raised half a billion dollars in funding from tech giants like Google and Qualcomm, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai sits on the startup's board of directors.
In a March 2015 video that displays jaw-dropping realism, Magic Leap offered a tease of the first augmented-reality game that it plans to release for its headset. The game, called Dr. Grordborts Invaders, will be among the first experiences in Magic Leap's public demonstration, Abovitz tweeted, although he did not hint at when that might occur.