CNN unveils app for Magic Leap's AR headset
- Cable news channel CNN introduced an app for Magic Leap's augmented reality (AR) headset to stream live shows and on-demand video, according to a company announcement. The Magic Leap One headset lets CNN app users see digital images of TV programming overlaid on their physical surroundings.
- To use the CNN app, Magic Leap wearers activate it with the "screens" section of the device that shows linear 2D video. The app uses TV Everywhere authentication to confirm that viewers have a pay-TV subscription to see CNN's complete programming lineup.
- CNN will release new features that show the immersive capabilities of Magic Leap's spatial computing "to give users more opportunities to explore, experience and engage with bolder forms of storytelling," per a Magic Leap blog post.
The high price of Magic Leap's headset — the "creator edition" costs $2,295 — means that the device is intended more for a specialized group of creators than for average consumers. Still, the startup needs content providers like CNN to get on board with its platform to boost the value proposition of future devices that likely will have a lower price point to gain wider acceptance.
CNN's app for Magic Leap gives the news provider a toehold on an AR platform that provides a more immersive experience with its content. CNN follows video news network Cheddar in creating an app for Magic Leap. Similarly, three projects that use Magic Leap technology were on display for attendees of the Sundance Film Festival, CNet reported.
The publicity push for CNN's app had at least one detractor. Anshel Sag, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, tweeted that a video demonstration of the app didn't show a realistic view of the Magic Leap One headset. "How about we as an industry start showing people videos of what it looks actually like with the FoV of the headset and not inaccurate renders?" he asked, referring to the headset's field of view.
Magic Leap faces competition from Microsoft, which wowed some audiences at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with a keynote demonstration of the HoloLens 2. The tech giant's AR headset is aimed at the enterprise market with a price point of $3,500. Microsoft demonstrated features including improved hand tracking that lets wearers grab and move virtual objects, or play a virtual piano with natural hand movements, per Next Reality.