If you are interested in virtual reality, then Magic Leap may be the company for you. Non-shocking, non-spoiler alert of the day: virtual reality is the next big thing. Yawn, of course it is. We’re just sitting here waiting for the product that’s going to rock our world. It’s coming, we know it is, everyone knows it is… and it’s getting closer every day. So they say.
While you may have been inundated with virtual reality news and promises in recent years, you may not be as familiar with the term mixed reality. And if not, then you probably aren’t familiar with the most famous, and infamous, name in mixed reality — Magic Leap.
Magic Leap is in NOT Silicon Valley
If it’s a big deal in tech, then it’s got to be in Silicon Valley, or Washington State, or based out of MIT, right? Surely no one would guess that what some are calling the tech that will next change the world would come out of suburban Florida, but that is indeed where Magic Leap can be found. Except that it’s really hard to find, in a knowledge kind of way. Let me start over a bit.
Virtual reality is immersing your self in a world or experience that isn’t there. It’s sitting on your couch in the real world but experiencing the Great Pyramid visually and, in many cases, using other senses as well. Augmented reality is sitting on your couch and seeing your living room, but being able to visually access information about what you’re seeing — company information about Samsung when you look at your TV, an Amazon page when you look at your bookshelf, the distance from your living room to Egypt when you look at a picture of the Great Pyramid.
Mixed reality is sitting on your couch and seeing your living room, but also seeing a mummy sitting on the couch with you. Or seeing a dolphin jump out of the water that suddenly makes up your carpet. You’re still in your living room, but so is the dolphin… and the mummy… and they both seem real. Very real. As real as your couch. That’s what Magic Leap’s technology does, or will do, or might not do, depending on who you believe.
He Said, She Said
If you believe Mashable and other sources, Magic Leap appears to be the ever elusive promise (to out it politely) or a big scam (to put it not so politely). They’ve been around since 2010 or 2011, they’ve collected over $1 billion in investments from the likes of Google and others, and they have yet to show the public anything… except a video that was reportedly “aspirational” and didn’t actually represent their technology in any real way. If you believe Beyonce, what they do have isn’t all that impressive.
However if you choose to believe Ricky Gervais or NBA star Andre Iguodala over Beyonce, it’s life changing — even world changing. If you trust Wired contributor Peter Yang (who claims to have experienced it), it’s simply incredible. Like, reallly incredible. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for us to know what’s true and what’s hype at this point because the company is so secretive. But for those of us who can apply a little common sense, it seems like the good claims are more plausible than the scam claims.
For one, their last investment round may have been the largest C‑level round in history, at well over $700 million. And there are major players investing. Money talks, always. You’ll have to decide for yourself what to believe, but Media Jobs is going with ‘follow the money’ on this one. It would appear that to score a job with Magic Leap would be a career coup to boast about for decades. Changing the way the entire world works through technology? We know a few people who would sign up for that.