Updated: 25th April 2018

What Is the Difference Between HoloLens, Meta 2 & Magic Leap?

Augmented reality is starting to leak out to the mainstream world. This is thanks, in part, to ARKit and ARCore creating their debuts this season. These releases turned into the current smartphones possessed by countless Apple and Android users to AR-capable machines. Within a few short weeks, a few of the most talked about programs in Apple’s App Store have been AR programs.

While there are definitely some great use cases for mobile AR, the actual future in AR is headworn. Regrettably, we won’t probably find that afternoon before AR head-mounted displays shed about 70% of their present mass. At this time, we must wait on the hardware manufacturers and Moore’s Law to do their job and continue to assist miniaturize the technology needed for AR HMDs to produce the impact we understand they will.

In the meantime, we do have other types of head-mounted AR cans, and maybe they are not something we can use on the go, however they do provide some of the functionality that users need. However, as nearly all of these devices are primarily targeting applications developers (in a bid to seed AR app marketplaces for end users), the devices are still lacking a good piece of the applications that could make them more popular with mainstream users. Therefore, if you are an early adopter–however not an applications developer–you might be somewhat confused as to that AR headset is ideal for you.

With that in mind, we are going to break down the big differences between the many notable headsets out there: Microsoft’s HoloLens, the Meta 2, and also the Magic Leap 1: Creator’s Edition


Even the Microsoft HoloLens is certainly the maximum profile augmented reality head-mounted display on the market. That status could be because of the advertising efforts of Microsoft, or it could be associated with the very simple fact that nothing else currently on the marketplace has a comparable feature set (some stage some might debate). Regardless, Microsoft has just taken a massive step to the sphere of spatial computing with the HoloLens, leaving a few large footprints behind for everybody else to follow.

As a standalone headworn computer capable of projecting images that seem to be in the real world, that the HoloLens is the earliest of its kind. With an assortment of sensors and cameras, the more HoloLens is continually scanning the distance around the user and upgrading a 3D net of that area in what is referred to as a spatial map.

This spatial map makes it possible for the HoloLens to interact with the entire world in a way never seen until its existence. Virtual objects can collide with this net in a such a way that it might seem that the thing just pops off the user’s sofa or desktop computer.

Another feature of the plasma map is occlusion. Therefore, in the event that you’ve got your house mapped correctly, and you dip a digital ball off the wall, then it can, as an example, vanish because it rolls into your kitchen, as it would in real life (IRL).

What's the Difference Between HoloLens, Meta 2 & Magic Leap?

Image via Microsoft

The primary source of input to the HoloLens is gesture and voice command. While some normal Bluetooth devices like mice, keyboards, and game controls can be used with the headset, it has a very different interface in comparison to what we are utilised to at the horizontal screen world.

Although it includes Windows 10 in its heart, the port permits icons which appear like windows to be put anywhere in the 3D area around you. So as you’d maintain your PlayerUnknown’s BattleGround gaming icon at the upper right corner of your traditional desktop, with all the HoloLens you can, as an example, maintain the icon for Word floating over the dining room table.

The hardware driving this gadget comprises three chips: a CPU and a GPU, both of which are reported to function as Intel Atom chips, as well as a customized chip designed to handle the sensor range input called the HPU (Holographic Processing Unit). The headset includes 2 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage.

A common (though possibly unwarranted) complaint using all the HoloLens is its limited field of view (FOV). While the edges can appear chopped off initially, after prolonged use, the user generally starts. But while the FOV finally becomes less of a problem, the weight of this head-mounted device can become noticeable after extended periods of use.

Past the limited footprint of this unit concerning sheer sales amounts, there’s 1 thing Microsoft has managed to reach in quick mode: successfully constructing an ecosystem called Windows Mixed Reality. This unique version of Windows 10 was made to unite VR and AR encounters using all the Windows 10 operating platform. Now that the HoloLens was out in the wild for almost two years, a group of polished applications alternatives have begun to make their way to the Windows Store. While this trend continues, with Microsoft having a remarkable head start on prospective rivals, it will be interesting to find out who does and doesn’t embrace this new computing system.

Meta 2

Meta, a company based in Silicon Valley, emerged in 2013 on the rear of an effective Kickstarter effort. After launch the first version of its goods from late 2014, also gaining financial backing, the business announced its follow-up headset, the Meta 2, in February of 2016. In recent months (overdue 2017), developers actually began receiving the product.

Contrary to the Microsoft HoloLens or Magic Leap One: Creators Edition, the 2 is a tethered, head-mounted device. That means it needs a connection to a traditional PC to operate and is designed to be utilised in a static place, with no capability to roam around your actual world atmosphere. Crafted across the concept of being a replacement for your 2D screen, Meta 2 plugs in your computer’s audio port, with detector input and image processing being managed from the connected PC’s chips.

What's the Difference Between HoloLens, Meta 2 & Magic Leap?

Image by Jason Odom/Next Reality

Upon putting the Meta 2 on your head, after the first shock of the dimensions of this unit (it’s huge), you are instantly conscious of its field of view, that is enormous, probably few times the magnitude of this HoloLens. And there’s something really nice about that image. But something is away, too.

Employing a semi-spherical sizable combiner optics system (which explains the sheer size of this unit), along with the wide FOV, appears to produce a slightly more transparent image than the HoloLens. Because of that previous point, for me personally, while employing the 2, I always find myself fighting to find a focus and also to maintain it all there.

Like the HoloLens, the 2 also offers a set of sensors and is capable of creating an environment map to permit interaction with the actual world. This includes the use of gestures to restrain the AR applications being used. Additionally, Meta 2 allows a grab-and-hold gesture, which lets the user transfer virtual items around somewhat naturally. On the other hand, the first grab functionality is a bit inconsistent.

There’s a valid argument about the notion that, because of this being a tethered device, the 2 really shouldn’t be compared to the HoloLens or Magic Leap. But now, the product category is loose due to the very low number of devices on the market. Since the marketplace fills out, the goods will slot off into their own sub-categories. To put it differently, for now, provided that they are head-mounted electronic devices with see-through displays, they’ll be compared.

Magic Leap

Though incessantly hyped for several years, the latest company to show us an AR head-mounted product is Magic Leap, with all the Magic Leap 1: Creator’s Edition. This headset hasn’t actually been published yet, so, in a feeling, it’s just more hype at this point. That said, we have a complete breakdown of that which we now know more about the hardware. But here we will take what we understand and put it in context in terms of what it has to offer in comparison to this HoloLens and the 2.

In some ways, the Magic Leap One is really a bridge between the HoloLens and also the proverbial 2. The headset is still tethered, although not in the method by which the Meta 2 is. A cable connects the HMD to some small hip-mounted computer which handles the principal information and images processing. This could be a huge turn off for some customers (although the consensus around the Following Reality office is the fact that it wouldn’t be a bother for almost all of us).

What's the Difference Between HoloLens, Meta 2 & Magic Leap?

Image via Magic Leap

Between the Magic Leap Among the tethered mind and the provider’s choice of light fields for near-eye optics, the headset is much smaller than the HoloLens and the 2. Because of this, the gadget looks amazing. It is much closer to the magnitude of a set of glasses than its competitors. That said, the unit remains likely out there concerning visual layout for some of the pickiest computer users.

And with the unit smaller size came a large trade-off: availability whatsoever. Contrary to the HoloLens and 2, the Magic Leap Certainly one does not directly accommodate people who use corrective lenses. While the device can be fitted using all the prescription lenses that the user might want, both the HoloLens and 2 both offer the capability to be employed with glasses right from the box. That sounds like a fairly major deal, considering that approximately 75% of the US adult population utilize corrective lenses.

Another quality that comes as a result of Magic Leap’s choice to use light fields for optics is something sorely missing from the HoloLens and Meta 2: depth of field. The capability to blur and concentrate virtual objects will give them more presence in our world while employing the device.

Usually, the collection of sensors on the Magic Leap One appears like this HoloLens. Even the CEO of Magic Leap, Rony Abovitz, has also stated that the Magic Leap One headset itself contains a chip for those sensors, including machine learning.

In the not too distant future, eye-tracking sensors will be an additional standout sensor type that could make a major gap in the coming AR wars. Being in a position to control your device with your eyes will make a major difference for people who grow tired of using their arms and arms for hours to restrain AR interfaces.

But we are going to have to wait until 2018, if the Magic Leap One: Creator’s Edition gets published, to operate it through its paces. At that stage, we will update this post. Until then, keep a watch adjacent Reality and we’ll allow you to know what’s new in this emerging class of AR devices.

YouTube, Meta, Magic Leap