Magic Leap moves beyond older lines of VR
October 24, 2014 by Nancy Owano
Two messages from Magic Leap: Most of us know that a world with dragons and unicorns, elves and fairies is just a better world. The other message: Technology can be mindboggingly awesome. When the two messages combine, the company's aura becomes evident as movers in newer realms of augmented reality. The people behind this Florida-based company believe that the future of computing should be derived from respecting human biology, physiology, creativity, and community. So why, they ask, can't computing feel completely natural? Why can't computing and technology bend to us, to our experience? Describing their technology, they said "our team dug deep into the physics of the visual world, and dug deep into the physics and processes of our visual and sensory perception." They created what they call a Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signal, which is biomimetic. That is the core and they added hardware, software, sensors, core processors, and, they said, "a few things that just need to remain a mystery." On their site page for developers, they said, "Using our Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signal, imagine being able to generate images indistinguishable from real objects and then being able to place those images seamlessly into the real world."
Right now, they are reaching out to targets described as "application wizards, game developers, story-tellers, musicians, and artists who are motivated by just wanting to make cool stuff." Rony Abovitz, president, CEO and founder, Magic Leap, said, "I want Magic Leap to become a creative hub for gamers, game designers, writers, coders, musicians, filmmakers, and artists."
The site's help-wanted page has numerous openings for hardware engineers and software engineers, versed in such areas as verification and testing, audio systems, 3D object tracking, machine learning in the cloud, computational photography, game programming and design.
Interviewed earlier this year by the South Florida Business Journal, Abovitz was asked if this business was focusing on a better version of virtual reality goggles to make people feel as if they are on a roller coaster. "Those are old terms – virtual reality, augmented reality," said Abovitz. "They have legacy behind them. They are associated with things that didn't necessarily deliver on a promise or live up to expectations. We have the term cinematic reality because we are disassociated with those things. … When you see this, you will see that this is computing for the next 30 or 40 years. To go farther and deeper than we're going, you would be changing what it means to be human."
In fundamental business terms, Magic Leap is described as a developer of novel human computing interfaces and software. Earlier this month, Magic Leap announced financing that the company will use "to accelerate product development, release software development tools, expand its content ecosystem, and commercialize its proprietary mobile wearable system."
David Gelles and Michael de la Merced wrote in The New York Times that the Magic Leap vision was for "displaying rich interactive graphics alongside what people see naturally, using what it calls a dynamic digitized lightfield signal." They also noted that Google is its biggest investor. "Google's role as the lead investor is significant as it jockeys for position in a rapidly shifting technology industry." Doug Gross of CNN said that "with Google reportedly investing so heavily, it's not hard to imagine Magic Leap being paired with Google Glass, the tech giant's entry in the wearable tech field that could hit the market as early as this year."
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