Magic Leap is without a doubt one of the hottest companies that appeared in the technology space. Over their brief existence, the company received over $1.4 billion in funding, with the most recent round being a record $793.5 million Series C. The startup is beyond secretive, and by confining themselves to Florida, Magic Leap is avoiding the “Silicon Valley Leakage”, mostly driven by relaxed labor laws in the state of California.
Still, the vision is breaking through, and through a carefully designed PR plan, Magic Leap is slowly coming out of the shadow. The latest issue of Wired brings the cover story on Magic Leap, showing all but the headsets themselves. According to the story, Magic Leap technology focuses around the in-house designed Photonics Light Field chip technology in its see-through headsets. This is unlike Nvidia’s own light field collaboration with Stanford, but still related.
We managed to discover that the Magic Leap product line-up is being called Sensoryware (filed for trademark in 2013), and the first planned technology demonstration is planned for the end of 2016, with most likely debut on CES 2017, should the company receive a coveted “Keynote” speaker slot. Right now, the company is working in parallel on both the hardware and the content itself. In order to drive these experiences, Magic Leap first contracted Peter Jackson’s WETA Workshop, then took them on board to create new immersive experiences.
One of perhaps most livid experiences will be the dive into the music world through Digital Live Artist and Digital Music Venue experiences. The Digital Live Artist experience “will beam artists in full scale and digital presence into your home – enabling you and your friends to enjoy a personal concert at home from your favorite band.” On the other hand Digital Music Venue will “beam you and your friends into an amazing digital space – it will look and feel like you are at a live music concert.”
Monetization capabilities are immense, and there are already recording artists which have signed up to offer themselves in a virtual form. While we are not privvy to disclose names at this point in time, one such group is well known for their technological initiatives and it should not be for too long before their last concert tour becomes available in Mixed Reality. Mixing Sensory Ware and music will create visual experiences that surpass music videos in terms of immersion, and the market for that is beyond huge. In a recent interview, Erik Huggers, CEO of Vevo stated that their service delivers 17 billion videos each month. Digital Live Artist will enable you to enjoy music not just during a limited amount of free time, but to mix music with your real world. Imagine walking to work and having Beyonce, Bono or Taylor Swift walking with you while performing their latest act.
We will cover Magic Leap in an upcoming article in great detail, but for now it looks like CES 2017 is a non-miss event for the future of VR, AR, MR… or should we just go ahead and state Digital Reality as the next buzzword?