Magic Leap opens its reality tech to developers
Secretive startup, backed by Google, seeks creative minds to exploit its 'mixed reality' devices.
Take a moment to look away from your screen and stare at the space just above it. See anything interesting? What may appear to many as empty, three-dimensional space is to the technical wizards at Magic Leap a new frontier of unbridled potential.
The secretive technology startup, backed by more than $600 million in funding from companies like Google, specializes in mixing real-world visuals with interactive, computer-generated objects, a term in the industry known as augmented reality. Want a fire-breathing dragon floating over your desk? Or how about a virtual window capturing an ocean-view sunset? This is the company that plans to make all of that happen.
Speaking at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Digital conference earlier this week in San Francisco, Magic Leap Founder and CEO Rony Abovitz described his company's technology as a way to manipulate "rivers of light."
"We are a dream factory where you dream something and then make it happen,'' Abovitz, the son of Israeli immigrants to the U.S., told reporters. "We are giving people a paintbrush to paint all the world.''
That virtual paintbrush will come in the form of access to Magic Leap's new software development kit (SDK), that will enable everyone from filmmakers to artists to take advantage of the company's augmented reality headset.
“I cannot wait," Graeme Devine, chief creative officer, told the crowd. "The awesome stuff is not going to come from us, it’s going to come from everyone out there.”
Beyond access to SDKs, Magic Leap also announced the construction of a 300,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Florida to build chips for its headset device. Based on what little is known so far, the augmented reality presented by Magic Leap would not utilize a screen like Google Glass or the Oculus Rift, but would instead shoot light directly into a user's eyes – effectively tricking the brain into believing something is floating in space.
As Abovitz told Wired earlier this year, it's “the closest replication to what the real world is doing as it interacts with your eye-brain system.”
Check out a demo of what Magic Leap has planned for your eyes below.
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