Google Leads $542 Million Deal in Secretive Startup Magic Leap
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
Google is leading a huge $542 million round of funding for the secretive startup Magic Leap, which is said to be working on augmented reality glasses that can create digital objects that appear to exist in the world around you. Though little is known about what Magic Leap is working on, Google is placing a big bet on it: in addition to the funding, Android and Chrome leader Sundar Pichai will join Magic Leap's board, as will Google's corporate development vice-president Don Harrison. The funding is also coming directly from Google itself — not from an investment arm like Google Ventures — all suggesting this is a strategic move to align the two companies and eventually partner when the tech is more mature down the road.
Magic Leap's technology currently takes the shape of something like a pair of glasses, according to The Wall Street Journal. Rather than displaying images on the glasses or projecting them out into the world, Magic Leap's glasses reportedly project their image right onto their wearer's eyes — and apparently to some stunning effects.
"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, CEO of Legendary Pictures, tells the Journal. Legendary also took part in this round of investment, alongside Qualcomm, Kleiner Perkins, Andreessen Horowitz, and Obvious Ventures, among others. Qualcomm's executive chairman, Paul Jacobs, is also joining Magic Leap's board.
Fast Company calls it "so badass you won't believe it"...
Read the Fast Company article:
it's so badass i don't believe it!!
AND it's based in Florida:
i saw that!! florida is booming, in spite of it's doomed future as a reef. :)
But for now, it's booming.
Liz Gannes broke the story a week ago:
The company is based in Florida.
“Those are old terms — virtual reality, augmented reality. They have legacy behind them. They are associated with things that didn’t necessarily deliver on a promise or live up to expectations,” Abovitz told the South Florida Business Journal earlier this year. “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.”
Here’s a short interview with Abovitz from 2011, when he was promoting an iPhone augmented reality app called “The Hour Blue,” which he now says was a “red herring.”
And here’s a completely baffling video of the beginning of a TEDx Talk, featuring Abovitz in a space suit, and two … well, you can see for yourself: