Magic Leap One, the long-awaited AR headset from the secretive titular Florida startup, appears to be on its way to its supposed 2018 release date, as the headset’s motion controller, dubbed Control, has just hit the FCC for testing.

When we first heard about Control at the headset’s unveiling late last year, we were told the motion controller featured a touchpad, a trigger, a single button, and both haptic feedback and something called “force control.”

According to the FCC filing, Control also contains “a transmitter that generates 3 orthogonal AC magnetic fields at frequencies ranging from 28.5 kHz to 42.42 kHz,” which is used to positionally track the controller, giving it six degrees of freedom (DOF).

Image courtesy FCC

Control is said to feature a single USB-C port, which for the purposes of testing was powered using a proprietary Magic Leap power supply, model number M3001.

The filing also reveals that Control is assembled in Mexico. Its model number is M2001.

Image courtesy FCC

While the filing doesn’t reveal much more about Control, the company has also filed a Request for Confidentiality with the FCC, which limits them from publishing internal photos, test setup photos, and the user manual for 180 days from the date of the filing’s initial publish date (today). If the company markets the device before the end of that period, the FCC will likely then publish the documents stated above.

If the company waits the full 180 days to release the headset, that would put Magic Leap One with a max release date of December 18th, 2018. Filing for FCC testing tends to be the last big step before marketing any given device, meaning the headset’s release still appears on track for 2018.

Although Magic Leap One developer kits are already supposedly in the hands of a small group of partners (provided developers sign a non-disclosure agreement ), the company is still remaining tight-lipped on any of the headset’s hard specs.

Meta is Removing a Host of Features from 'Workrooms', Requiring Users to Download Files Before June

Back in February, the company promised the Magic Leap One, which will be “priced like a premium computer”, would get further details on pricing and a more specific 2018 launch date this spring. Now well into summer, we still don’t have a clear idea how much the headset will cost, and when it will be available for purchase.

Newsletter graphic

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. More information.

Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Sponge Bob

    “Control also contains a transmitter that generates 3 orthogonal AC magnetic fields”

    This just does not make any sense at all

    I think they meant that protruding rectangular box on the right side of a headset which is supposed to generate AC magnetic field, not a small hand-held controller

    There is no way coils that small running off tiny battery can generate sufficient magnetic fields and not kill battery in minutes

    But protruding box on headset itself ? Hm Hm
    BIG doubts that magnetic field can be strong enough and current is small enough not to drain main battery (not in a headset) in minutes

    Sixsense kickstarter story might be repeating here on a much bigger scale

    Anyone knowledgeable enough to comment ?

    Igor Khalfin ??? Someone ?

    Guess not but we’ll see soon anyway

    If this really works as advertised then this is a major milestone – just a 6 DoF controller

    • Hi Sponge Bob,

      the description itself says that the coils are indeed mounted onboard. Here’s the full quote from the filing:

      “The EUT is a handheld controller with EM and BLE transmitters. The device utilizes an electromagnetic tracking system used to determine the position and orientation of the Control relative to the user. The Control contains a transmitter that generates 3 orthogonal AC magnetic fields at frequencies ranging from 28.5 kHz to 42.42 kHz. These signals are unmodulated CW sine waves that drive 3 wire wound coils (TX Coils) mounted on Control.”

      We’d love to hear more specifics from Magic Leap, but those just haven’t materialized yet :P

      • Sponge Bob

        The AC magnetic field tracking technology is not new at all

        It was already used for games and VR years ago – e.g. Razer Hydra controllers

        The underlying tech was developed and refined by Polhemus


        The AC magnetic field generator HAS to be on a headset, not inside small controller powered by tiny battery

        The tech does have major limitations though – size of coils, distance from AC magnetic field source to sensors, power consumption…
        not to mention presence of metal objects and EM fields

        (otherwise we would see it everywhere by now making Oculus Touch and HTC Vive controllers obsolete at the very least)

        Me thinks Magic Leap wants to redefine the Laws of Physics and they just might be badly burned for trying to do that…

        Just like infamous Sixense kickstarter

        • vertexbreakers

          Receiving magic leap controller before Sixsense send to backers, would make a funny joke…

          • Sponge Bob


            Sixense has misjudged what magnetic field attenuation as an inverse 6th power of a distance can do

            They also failed FCC testing but i’m not sure why

  • Laurence Nairne

    Considering their marketing team haven’t given us anything yet, they’ve done a great job of at least making us talk about it. Obviously that could all fall flat if it turns out the ML1 is just a dodgy tech demo that doesn’t do even half of the things it alludes to, but hey, they’ll get the early adopters even if it is crud.

    • Sponge Bob

      They will not get early adopters if user interface is missing or inferior

      beautiful visuals are not nearly enough if controller or/and hand tracking are not properly implemented making the whole thing nearly useless

      Has anyone seen a single functional demo from them of a user interacting with their software using either controller or hand tracking ? I have not

      • Laurence Nairne

        Of course they will. Pre-orders will be rife, probably even by people who just want to be the first to tell everyone that it’s shit. We live in a world where it’s completely viable to build a business model around 90% marketing fluff/10% substance and get away with it at least for a little while.

        In fact it’s even getting easy to call it a prototype after release and say “super cool updates are on the way!”

        And then they’ll have a community of people who would rather say “it’s great and you’re all just haters/fanboys of [insert manufacturer name here]” than admit that they were duped by marketing magic.

        Of course, I’m a cynic.

  • Sponge Bob

    I am willing to bet money that there is no way for a small wireless controller to house a battery and coils big enough to produce sufficient AC magnetic field which can be reliably sensed (and measured) by a sensor in a headset (if this is the configuration ML claims) IF user’s arm is fully extended – mine are quite long

    There’s gotta be some gotcha here

    Probably heavy reliance on IMU sensor data with constant re-calibration whenever controller is held very close to the headset

    Or they just track the controller visually through (depth) cameras – whenever its in the field of view

    probably all of the above

    We’ll see soon…hopefully

    • NooYawker

      Look at the big brain on Bob!

      • Sponge Bob

        No big brain
        Just Laws of Physics

      • Sponge Bob

        You can do a very simple lab experiment with signal generator, couple coils and some op-amp and scope on the receiving side
        and see for yourself how magnetic field attenuates with distance

      • Sponge Bob

        There is no magic in Magic Leap controller (and the rest of their tech)
        It obeys the same Laws of Physics

  • Design seems nice