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What to expect when Magic Leap’s headset launches

Magic Leap is finally releasing a developer version of its augmented reality system next year. The company has promised an SDK in early 2018 (three years later), to be followed by the actual hardware, called the Magic Leap One.

Magic Leap has already attracted heavy investors in the form of Google and VC firms, but over the years it’s offered frustratingly little news about what the tech will actually offer. Its partners include Icelandic rock band Sigur Rós, Weta Workshop, ILMxLAB, and messaging platform Twilio, though its creator portal is expected to open up its software to more interested parties. Here’s what we can expect so far.

Mixed reality comics

Digital comic book publisher Madefire announced its partnership earlier this year; it uses its digital advantages to add effects like animation and sound to stories. The company publishes its own titles, but also works with companies like Dark Horse, DC, and more. In practice, Rolling Stone describes being able to view comic panels at different depths, angles, and more with audio and viewable performances by actors.

Music

Sigur Rós has been working with Magic Leap for the past several years. The audiovisual project, “Tonandi,” is described as an interactive soundscape that allows the user to interact with visual interpretations of music, thereby creating their own. (In this case, it specifically uses new music by Sigur Rós created for the app.)

Games

Magic Leap will also feature gaming experiences, including one from Weta Workshop’s gaming arm. This particular game, a first-person shooter set in the steampunk-esque Doctor Grordbort universe of comics, guns, and more, is expected to launch when the hardware does in 2018.