According to a press release revealed today, Magic Leap has closed a $524 million Series B funding round led by Google; the deal had been rumored as of last week. Magic Leap, which has been in stealth since its inception, is being a bit more wordy now that the deal has closed (but hardly less vague). The company is now soliciting developers on its website and says that “under the appropriate non-disclosures, we’d love to talk possibilities.”

Magic Leap appears to be working on an augmented reality wearable which uses a lightfield display that can apparently generate very realistic looking imagery, not only from a graphical standpoint, but also from physiologically accurate standpoint—possibly utilizing a lightfield’s unique ability to render imagery that has perfect stereoscopy, including accurate accommodation and vergence.

See Also: Reportedly on the Verge of a $500m Investment, Here’s What We Know About Magic Leap

Magic Leap’s Series B was led by Google and also included Qualcomm Ventures, Legendary Entertainment, KKR, Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Obvious Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz (which invested in Oculus), and others, according to a press release issued by Magic Leap. Some have speculated that Google’s interest in Magic Leap’s technology comes from the desire to integrate it with Google Glass, the company’s wearable display.

“Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android, Chrome and Apps at Google Inc., will join Magic Leap’s board of directors. Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Executive Chairman of Qualcomm Incorporated and Don Harrison, Vice-President, Corporate Development at Google Inc. will join the board of directors of Magic Leap as observers,” reads the release. “The company will use the proceeds to accelerate product development, release software development tools, expand its content ecosystem, and commercialize its proprietary mobile wearable system.”

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The company’s massive Series B comes after a $50 million Series A which closed earlier this year in February and interestingly involved Weta Workshop, installing co-founder Richard Taylor onto Magic Leap’s board of directors.

Now that the deal is done, Magic Leap has made some updates to its website, revealing a touch more info, but still not sufficiently spilling the secret that led Google and others to drop more than half a billion dollars on the company.

magic leap light field display
Magic Leap leads us to believe that this photo is representative of what their technology can do, though it may just be a concept rendering.

“Using our Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signal™, imagine being able to generate images indistinguishable from real objects and then being able to place those images seamlessly into the real world,” teases the company’s ‘Developers’ page, which is now open for developers to submit their interest. “For the time being, we’re being a little tight-lipped in what we’re communicating publicly, but under the appropriate non-disclosures, we’d love to talk possibilities,” it continues. In the digging we did recently, we found that the company may be releasing development kits at some point over the course of the next year.

The company has also launched a beefy hiring page with 68 available positions covering hardware engineering, core software engineering, perception/machine vision, gaming, and administration.

Assuming that the company has perfected the miniaturized lightfield display and is capable of generating high fidelity AR imagery, questions still remain: What’s the field of view? Can they nail the all-important head tracking? What are the limitations of the display’s transparency and color reproduction? Hopefully we’ll have these answered in time.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Curtrock

    This strikes me as the BIGGEST news, since the Oculus Rift. If they have created perfectly rendered 3D AR, it’s gonna be awesome. However, I like the fact that this doesn’t change what we all want from VR. I want to escape to a different world, not just supplement this one. Perhaps this tech might replace the screen in VR. Regardless, Magic Leap has my attention, and soon it will probably have my money, too.

  • Neuromute

    Since I was 15 or so I daydreamed about the day I could wear a pair of glasses and be able to watch video in public, or simulate a music visualizer in the sky.
    This could turn out to be cool.

    I wish people would stop pitting AR and VR against each other, though.
    They’re two totally separate technologies, and while AR sounds really cool it’ll never replace or amount to VR’s ability to completely transport you into a new world.

  • easyTree

    That’s amazing; the guy looks completely real.