During yesterday’s WSJD technology conference, Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz finally broke the silence since the mysteriously cancelled TED appearance scheduled back in March, where he was to give insight into the company’s ‘Digital Lightfield’ technology.
The Google-backed Magic Leap, which attracted $524 million dollars in funding last year, has been highly secretive about their augmented reality device—but in the face of yesterday’s big demo reveal that Abovitz calls “the most human way to understand visual reality,” we may still have more questions than answers.
During yesterday’s talk, Abovitz revealed that Magic Leap is no longer “in the research lab doing theoretical things,” but far out of the R&D stage and moving on to production phase. “We’re gearing up to ship millions of things,” Abovitz said.
Abovitz calls the company’s new manufacturing base in South Florida, a former Motorola phone factory, the beginning of a “new product production line,” but anyone who’s glimpsed a Magic Leap device is already well under NDA, so just what ‘product’ we’ll be seeing, we can’t say for sure.
MIT Technology Review writer Rachel Metz says Magic Leap’s basic hardware is likely composed of “a tiny projector that shines light onto a transparent lens, which deflects the light onto the retina.” On stage, Abovitz explained some of the basics behind the theoretical grounding for the yet unrevealed device, but didn’t go into anything specifically hardware related:
“In the real world, in visual reality, there’s this interaction with the light field. The world is a very complex dynamic light field… [it’s] not really a hologram, it’s even more complicated. It’s like a moving hologram bouncing off of everything… Think of a hologram as freezing a light field, and in visual reality these light fields are moving and dynamic and alive … our goal is to recreate that as completely as possible.”
Magic Leap has today updated their website, but you won’t find any clues there either—only the usual corporate-level marketing jive that promises that whatever is coming is “your new way to create/play/know/learn/entertain/share and bring magic back into the world.”
Millions of things? We’d be happy to see just one for now, please.