One of the problems with new computing platforms is the danger to go overboard in trying to present a novel experience. Nowhere is that truer than with virtual and augmented reality where user interfaces are already split into two almost diametrically opposed camps. As one of the most popular proponents of controller-less AR experience, Magic Leap runs the risk of overloading its UI with novel and fancy gizmos and controls. Fortunately, based on images going rounds over the Internet, the startup has exercised some caution and common sense.
Forget the sci-fi hype, Magic Leap’s Lumin OS is going flat where it makes more sense. Not everything will be three-dimensional though they will look like they have a bit of depth, like picture frames floating in the air. According to TechCrunch’s report, these will mostly be “landscape apps” that live in a “Prism” box that can be placed anywhere in your 3D environment.
Of course, there are also fully 3D “Immersive apps” that mostly take the form of games or interactive content. Given input methods available, these are probably not going to be apps you will use all the time. At least not compared to galleries, contacts, and the like.
Speaking of input, there will also be different methods for the Magic Leap, including Bluetooth keyboards, smartphone app, and an on-screen keyboard with voice recognition. The Magic Leap will supposedly also have a “Cast” option to share your view with others, though how that works is still uncertain at the moment.
Magic Leap has yet to make good on its promise to launch its headset commercially this summer. These images, which are more likely mockups rather than screenshots, show they’re getting there but might still not be completely ready. That said, it’s definitely reassuring that Magic Leap decided to launch with more familiar UI idioms that will be more immediately useful rather than opting for novel interfaces for novelty’s sake.