Magic Leap caused quite the stir a couple of weeks ago when it showed off its ability to project realistic Star Wars experiences into everyday life through mixed reality technology. While the company hadn’t announced exactly when their tech was going to be available for the general consumer to experience, the company’s CEO Rony Abovitz and CMO Brian Wallace have just announced that its product is “very real” and “not a research project anymore”.
While most of the duo’s comments at the Fortune conference in Aspen seemed to indicate that the solutions might be released in the fall, the company has yet to comment on a specific date for official release
The company employs about 600 people, meaning they aren’t messing around with the development of these products. They have acquired just over $1.4 million from investors up until now, and are operating out of an old Motorola factory in Florida. Because of the scale of their operation, Abovitz says they are pumping out product like there is no tomorrow.
We have production lines that look like aircraft carriers with class 100 cleanrooms [which feature controlled levels of contamination]. That’s running right now. We’re debugging our high-volume production line. It’s [being] made in the U.S., this summer. So we’re in that go mode, and hopefully soonish, the public will see [our products].
Abovitz also thinks that this type of mixed reality is a much better solution than virtual reality. He mentions that virtual reality is made up completely of rendered objects, but projecting this type of reality into the real world has “no neurological difference” from reality.
With [virtual reality],” he said, “you generally put a cell-phone-type screen in front of your eye; it’s sort of like a stereoscopic device. With [augmented reality], most people associate that with a heads-up display, and that’s not what we do, either. We give you a neurologically true visual perception. As long as you aren’t touching something, our digital objects, environments, and people really are neurologically true. It’s one of those things that you have to experience to believe.
The company says that while it is focusing on video games and entertainment, there is a large possibility that the tech will be expanded to be used on things like productivity and health care. Augmented reality could have astronomically impressive use cases for things like operations, so hopefully we will see something like that developed soon after the release of the company’s launch products.
Is mixed realty something you would like to see more of? More interested in AR than VR? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.