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Google & others invest in mystery Magic Leap

24 Oct 2014 | Rasmus Larsen |

What is Magic Leap exactly? No one seems to know for sure, but Google and others have just invested $542 million in the company that claims to be able to “augment” objects in the world around us, for example fairies and animals.

A very mysterious company

When you go to the Magic Leap website you are met with dancing elephants, fairies, and a huge whale flying above people on a beach. You are met with words such as “the human brain is still the best display ever made” and “it’s time to bring magic back into the world”. There is a trademark (TM) after both statements.

Magic Leap

No one really knows how the technology works, but Wall Street Journal says that it is a secretive visual display company near Miami that is developing its own eyeglasses-like device. That might sound a bit like Google Glass, but it is different, according to the sources. WSJ says that it is a mobile a wearable device that projects images onto the eye, but others claim that there is much more to it than that.

Google and a few other companies, including Qualcomm, Andreessen Horowitz, Legendary Entertainment and others have invested $542 million in Magic Leap Inc. Google’s Sundar Pichai will join the board. The company has been valued at just under $2 billion – almost the same as Oculus Rift that Facebook recently acquired.

- “We are looking forward to Magic Leap’s next stage of growth, and to seeing how they will shape the future of visual computing,” Sundar Pichai, Google said to WSJ.

If the company really can create believable objects and animations in the world around us it would lead to all kinds of new scenarios. With Google on board it is easy to jump to conclusions about advertisement, but it looks like there is a lot more to it. A film-financing company is also involved in the investment, for example. Is this a new kind of entertainment? Movies, games and so on?

No outsiders seem to know, but insiders say that you have to see the technology to fully understand.

- “It was incredibly natural and almost jarring — you’re in the room, and there’s a dragon flying around, it’s jaw-dropping and I couldn’t get the smile off of my face,” Thomas Tull, the head of Legendary Pictures, a movie-financing company said.

But one thing is certain. There is certainly a lot of money in this and with the investment capital the company now wants to prepare products for manufacturing “relatively soon”. Let us hope it is more successful than Google Glass.

- Source: WSJ

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