Magic Leap, the mysterious augmented reality startup with a multiple-billion dollar valuation, could soon be taking on more investments, bringing its total valuation close to $6 billion, Bloomberg reports.

Citing sources familiar with the situation, the report contends that Temasek Holdings Pte., a Singaporean investment company, is considering taking part in a new financing round amounting to more than $500 million.

After closing a nearly $800 million Series C investment led by Alibaba in February of last year, the company was then valued at $4.5 billion—remarkable for a startup that hasn’t shown a viable product outside the confines of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

Although not citing official sources, Bloomberg reports Magic Leap’s headset will cost between $1,500 and $2,000, and is set to ship its first device “to a small group of users within six months.”

Both Temasek and Magic Leap declined to speak on the matter.

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“It would be bigger than a pair of glasses, but smaller than virtual reality headsets such as Facebook Inc.’s Oculus Rift,” the unnamed sources told Bloomberg. “Magic Leap’s device would require users to carry a puck-shaped device, around the size of a smartphone, that would wirelessly provide processing and information to the glasses.”

In a recently granted patent (filed in 2015), the company shows a small form-factor headset, that while not entirely fashionable, looks to fit the description provided to Bloomberg.

After receiving the latest $800 million cash injection a year a half ago, the company said they had exited the R&D phase and were moving toward large-scale manufacturing. Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz tells Fast Company:

We’ve developed what I call a photonics chip, which Includes the design of it, novel materials, even designing the fab that will make it. That’s fundamentally important for us to deliver the experience that’s the natural fit of how the eye-brain system works. We had to build something that accommodates what your eye-brain system is used to getting, which is not available in any off-the-shelf way.

We have achieved mass miniaturization. We’ve gone beyond the computer simulations and one-off prototypes. We’re not on the risk side. We’re on the other side. It’s like talking about making an Intel chip versus actually making them.

The Magic Leap headset is said to use a light field display powered by a novel array of nano-structures, giving the digital imagery true-to-life depth cues which in turn makes the projected image seem more real. While the company has shown its tech to journalists and celebrities alike, all impressions are held within the strict confines of a NDA, so we won’t know much more than what we can tell from public sources such as patents and research papers.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • 6 Billion! If investors, many who are more technical and wiser to corporate scams than you or I are STILL clamoring to invest in this then it has to be incredible. Even Apple products get leaked and they have decades of complete lockdown experience on their in house prototypes. So, whatever comes in 6 months needs to blow our creative minds and not just be another Google Glass clone that does it better. This needs to replace the computer or make the immersive experience as realistic as a regular dream!

    • Xilence

      It might just. With that much money…. well damn. Lol This is serious stuff, and it’s completely portable and mobile, it’s literally oversized sunglasses. I don’t know what they are doing, but this looks like the damn future.

      Oh, and even if it has Apple prices, they can afford it. Why? Because of marketing. A budget this large means they can drop marketing campaigns the same size as Microsoft, Apple, and Samsung. Of course not the *biggest* ones but in the very same ballpark.

      I am excited. This may spring all of us (VR & AR) to the forefront. It will get people talking about simulated realities and we’ll probably jump forward 5 to 10 years in market and technology.

      Of course, this is all based off the assumption that this takes off. Given the investments, it kind of has to. That’s a lot of money.

      • I already wear glasses so I hope they consider that :)

        Theories on what 6 billion investment on a top secret project could do…

        They have worked out how to make a display or visual perception device that has no resolution or refresh rate. An infinity display or something.

        They have worked out how to make a computer the size of a chocolate bar that blows a 3K high end machine out the water and it runs off a battery the size of a pea.

        The glasses have neural links that connect directly into our thoughts and can represent that as instruction like a Siri / Cortana assistant for the mind. e.g. You think something and that is translated into a query which the output is sent to the glasses. e.g Think “Calculator” and one pops up. or think “Google ‘person standing in front of you'” and info pops up on them.

        I don’t want to think anything less than that or I will be disappointed. I want revolutionary here as people are spending what amounts to an entire country’s annual spend on one of its major services lol.

        • Xilence

          Yeah, I hope they do too but contact lenses won’t kill anyone to use the first generation. Either way, all are possible but only in unique situations in the way you mentioned. See the funding came after they proposed something. So either they needed a lot of money to make what they knew for a fact and could convey as a fact to investors to make a reality or were already partially there.

          So who knows? I have no idea which came first, the money or the tech, or both. We’ll only know after the fact, looking back. The bigger the company is the more history and interviews we’ll get to see how it all went. Make it or break it.

          However, I believe that it will make it and also I refuse to imagine a world in which it doesn’t. This is something that not only skyrockets VR as well as AR forward, it’s also a technology worth having in general. I want this. I’ll save up for it if it’s worth it too.

          • I agree. AR/VR is not advancing on a linear scale, it is a scale that keeps on bending backwards year on year. Some predictions last year were forecasted for a 10 year span. Looking now, i would say some of those predictions are 2 years not 10.

            HTC? or was it Oculus? predicted that the next “leap” in VR equipment would be in 5 years or so. They said minor upgrades to existing kit will of course happen but a real jump takes about 5 years. Is that still true? Pimax 8K (if they get it right) will shorten that timespan. Magic Leap could do too and there are so many out there working on this emerging industry that trying to forecast it is a nightmare.

            All good for us VR enthusiasts :) As long as the Holodeck appears in my lifetime I will be happy.

          • Xilence

            Everyone talks about the Holodeck but I’m afraid I’m not familiar with what that’s like. Sword Art Online is my source of imagination for the future to be honest with you. That’s my dream right there. I’m hoping Windows MR and Sansar will push us closer and into a wider market for all of this.

          • Sword art online looks interesting!

            As for Holodeck, google “Star Trek Holodeck”

            Windows MR has the chance of making AR/VR/MR mainstream which would be great. Currently it is still in the realms of the enthusiast still but that is changing slowly.

            As for Sansar, hmmm. I personally have little faith in the early system myself, not enough concurrent users per instance (35) at the moment which is not enough if competing in social spaces. As an example, the average facebook friend count is around 350 users and FB are working on their own VR system. I hope Sansar does well though, why not.

          • Xilence

            I think it’s going places. Watch SAO, you’ll like it.

          • beestee

            I assume your dream is the full dive immersion and not the directly linked virtual and IRL mortality :)

          • I like to think way way ahead of the norm :)

          • Foreign Devil

            Personally I think High Fidelity is more promising than Sansar

        • yag

          Actually the 6 billion secret project is to make 12 other Avatar movies. Bon courage James !

    • NooYawker

      Their first round of investing got some high profile investors involved, which in itself gets other investors interested. After raising more and more money it gets yet more investors involved. You think VC’s are more technically savvy? I can assure you they are not, they are smart at protecting their money by making sure they get paid first. Theranos was valued at 9 billion before anyone realized it was complete BS.

      • Those under NDA have actually tried the prototype haven’t they? Otherwise all ML would be doing is a clever presentation with no hard evidence, a wish list. They say they are beyond that point and looking at manufacturing so they must have something that people can actually use. Unless they inject a hallucinogenic LSD mist into the demo room :D Anyway, it is easy to be a sceptic with so much secrecy. Time will tell.

    • psuedonymous

      Theranos. A decade of operation, millions in investment, and valued at billions. Turns out the core technology never actually worked.

      Large investors can be fooled as easily as anyone else.

  • MyLens

    I doubt whatever they release will be better than Hololens 2/3 microsoft is working on.

    My guess is that they’ll release some sort of prototype in 6 months (hence the small quantity), but won’t release the finished product until at least a year later (e.g., manufacturing, software, etc.). At that point, Hololens 2/3 would have already come out and overshadow this thing.

  • David Herrington

    “Magic Leap’s headset will cost between $1,500 and $2,000”

    VR has enough trouble as it is with full HMD’s with controllers priced at $400. PSVR took off because it was cheap in the beginning of release. Gear VR and Cardboard are ubiquitous because they are free or almost free. With this price tag only the very wealthy will have the cash.

    I know some will criticize me about $1000 phones but that is a very high end device that has proved its worth year after year and only recently has approached that price point. This device would be nearly DOUBLE that crazy price. The only way that this would survive is to be twice as useful as the best phone you can buy… and I don’t see that happening as no one will have the funds to give it a chance.

    • At that price point it must be targeting the business market. My Mac Pro back in 2013 cost nearly 5k, I have monitors that cost £800 and a few PC’s that cost around 2.5K But if they targeting the entertainment industry, that will be a price outside of many.

      • Xilence

        Honestly, I’m 99% sure this is the dev kit cost.

        • David Herrington

          So how much did the Rift DK2 cost? $350… and then how much did the actual consumer version cost? $600.

          It’s in the best interest of Magic Leap to sell the dev kit at cost, so as to get the kit in as many dev’s hands as possible. This is why the DK2 sold for only $350. If you plan on making a profit off of dev kits then you will reduce the amount of devs who will be interested in your device. Better to discount the kit and sell the real one for profit.

          That is why if this is a DEV KIT COST, then likely the real thing will be much more!!

          • I agree. Hololens, Google Glass all started out as premium dev kits and look what happened to them. They have a target market, it isn’t Indy / small studios that’s for sure as the risk is too high. But it could be so damn world changing that price is not important (I hope for this). Like a car that runs on tap water or something :) People would be clamoring to have it.

    • Mei Ling

      I don’t think they intend to market their first iteration product to the average consumer.

  • NooYawker

    Another cash grab before they’re exposed.

    • Xilence

      $6B later, you’d wonder how they got away with it… aka, unlikely to be a scam.

      • NooYawker

        Ever heard of Theranos?
        Now I’m not saying they’re as bad as Theranos, I’m sure years ago Magic Leap had some early ideas about building AR glasses, but 6 billion dollars later and the release of commercial VR and Hololens.. they’re way behind and at best just be another company that releases AR glasses.
        Now imagine say, Oculus or Vive raised 6 billion in funding.. worth it?

        • Randy Brown

          6B valuation does not mean 6B raised, it means the % equity distributed * $ raised makes total “valuation” = 6B.

          • NooYawker

            That’s not the point is it?

          • dogtato

            It’s a good point. multiple people in this discussion seem to think they’ve raised $6B when it’s more like $2B.

            That said, I’m pretty cynical about Magic Leap because all they’ve shown are overblown marketing pieces and videos of short, underwhelming demos. I doubt it’s a scam, but I also doubt they’ll be worth $6B.

  • Lucidfeuer

    So it started as a speculative money washing scheme, but they’ll eventually release AR glasses with the same specs as ODG glasses.

    If ever I need to defraud large sums of taxes for fiscal optimisation I’ll think about these schemes.

  • Pi_Boson

    Crazy, but good to know there are still HW investors as they know nothing runs without it.

  • Smokey_the_Bear

    So much for the “2017 will be a big year for Magic Leap”. delays, delays, delays.

  • GrangerFX

    Most of the time hype + secrecy + big investments = failure. Hope that Magic Leap is the exception to the rule.

  • Ahhh, this is all BULLSHIT.
    They’ve even gone so far as to use the “six months” ruse, that’s the key.
    It’s often favored by fortune tellers, palm readers and other charlatans.
    Magic Leap is the BUNK.