Google-backed secretive startup promises to make you feel like a wizard starring in your own Harry Potter movie
Magic Leap, a secretive startup backed by Google, is working on a breakthrough that it promises will make people feel like wizards starring in their own personal Harry Potter movie.
Although the technology is still shrouded in mystery, Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz describes it as a way to manipulate "rivers of light" so digital content normally seen on the screens of personal computers and mobile devices appears as holograms. Geeks typically refer to this concept as "augmented reality." Abovitz prefers to think of it as "cinematic" or "mixed" reality.
"We are giving people a paintbrush to paint all the world," Abovitz said Tuesday during a rare appearance at a San Francisco conference presented by the MIT Technology Review.
Abovitz is still being cagey about when Magic Leap will begin selling its products, but it might not be too much longer. He revealed that the Dania Beach, Florida, company is planning to manufacture a "photonic lightfield chip" in a 300,000-square-foot plant. The expansion is being financed by Google Inc. and other prominent investors, including Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who have poured $592 million into Magic Leap so far.
Another sign of progress: Magic Leap is getting ready to release a software kit that will enable outside developers create games and other content that will work with the technology.
"We are a dream factory where you dream something and then make it happen," Abovitz said.