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Major Takeaways:

  • Magic Leap has raised $1.4 billion from a variety of investors including Google, Kleiner Perkins, Andreessen Horowitz, Qualcomm, Warner Bros., Alibaba, Fidelity, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley.
    • A recent Series C funding round valued the company at $4.5 billion.
  • CEO Rony Abovitz said Magic Leap is “gearing up to build millions” of devices.
  • Although still in stealth mode, demos, developer kits, press releases and interviews have provided a good sense of what the device is and how it works.
  • The initial product is expected to include video and audio. Eventually, touch and other senses will be added.

From the article:

…What if I told you that every computer and entertainment interface will ultimately be replaced by a lightweight device that will seamlessly integrate virtual and real worlds and project them directly onto your retina in such a way that you won’t be able to tell objects from either world apart? And what if I said that device is coming soon, say within a year or so? What then?

If you’re thinking Microsoft HoloLens, Google Glass, Facebook’s Oculus Rift, or Samsung Gear VR, think again. We’re talking technology that’s so far beyond, that the reaction of the select few who’ve actually experienced it is to say, “That can’t be done; it must be a trick.” And when they realize it’s no trick, they pull out a checkbook and ask, “How many zeros shall I write?”

I’m talking about Magic Leap, a secretive startup that’s raised $1.4 billion from a who’s who of investors that include Google, Kleiner Perkins, Andreessen Horowitz, Qualcomm, Warner Bros., Alibaba, Fidelity, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley. It closed a Series C round of funding three weeks ago at a post-money valuation of $4.5 billion. And at a recent conference, CEO Rony Abovitz said the company is “gearing up to build millions” of devices in South Florida.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let me be clear. Magic Leap’s technology is not virtual reality, per se, but augmented reality. If that sounds at all like a caveat or concession, rest assured that it’s neither. In terms of its potential to bring a sea change to the way we currently interact with computers and consumer electronics devices, AR is vastly superior to VR…

…While Magic Leap is still in stealth mode, it’s left enough dribs and drabs in the form of demos, developer kits, press releases and interviews for us to piece together what its device actually is and how it works.

The company’s first product will likely be a lightweight headset that can be worn all the time without typical VR side effects of dizziness or nausea. Infrared cameras will create a complete 360-degree, 3D awareness of the user. That reality will be seamlessly integrated with virtual objects in real time and the combination projected directly onto the users’ eyeballs.

The initial product is expected to include video and audio, with touch and other senses down the road.

According to reports, one of the problems with Microsoft’s HoloLens is that its field of vision is relatively narrow, so when a user looks to the periphery, the virtual effects are essentially lost. And Google Glass projects a 2D image at a specific point in the user’s visual field. Magic Leap’s product is said to avoid both of those limitations.

 

Check out the full article at FOX Business here.