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Oculus CEO on Magic Leap: “Nobody’s really seen the technology yet.”

Last month a new company by the name of Magic Leap turned heads by raising some $542 million USD in a round of financing for its unrevealed technology that it claims will ‘transcend’ virtual reality (VR). Investors included the likes of Google, Qualcomm and Legendary Entertainment, raising some suggestions that the technology, whatever it may be, might compete with the upcoming Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD). According to Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe the company doesn’t see Magic Leap as a competitor, at least not based on what’s been shared about it so far.


Iribe said as much in an interview with CNN Money. “Well they’re raging about the amount of funding that they got,” he said of the response to the recent funding news. “Nobody has really seen the technology yet. So it’s still anybody’s bet on who’s going to come out with a competitive product. We don’t’ view other folks like Magic Leap – from what we’ve heard – we don’t view them directly competitive. A number of people are focussing on augmented reality, AR, or what we like to call NR, notification reality with Google glass where it’s just little notifications up in the corner of your eye.

“AR is see-through glasses,” Iribe concluded, “we’re virtual reality where we really take over your whole field of view, you’re entire vision, and we give you a new virtual vision. These are each different product categories, so there’ll be leaders in each space and we really are confident that we’ll be the leader in the VR space, especially on PC and mobile.”

Oculus VR faces a lot of questions of competition in the build up to the release of the consumer version of the Oculus Rift. In particular it’s the Project Morpheus PlayStation 4 HMD that many see as a competitor, though the company insists that the different platforms and the need to develop strong VR technology at this early stage keep the two from rivalry.

As for Magic Leap, it’s not yet clear when the technology will be fully revealed. VRFocus will continue to follow any and all updates from the company, reporting back with all the latest.

  1. If augmented reality isn’t a threat, then why bash it by calling it notification technology?
    Something tells me that Iribe is either very concerned or very ignorant of what “nobody” has seen. Nobody except perhaps the global technology leaders that just dumped $500M into the company.

    1. Zach I am pretty sure they have an idea but they also understand the competitive threat. The other issue was the CEO of the company stated that they will have something to show soon? How soon was asked and then they talked about the possibility of needing FDA approval. Its I believe based on technology that HITLab at University Of Washington had developed.

      Thomas A. Furness III and Brian Schowengerdt developed. Brian now works at Magic Leap technology he and Furness was named as patent holders based on the description. As far as I know about the device and Google’s investment is much like their investment in Boston Dynamics they don’t expect a huge payback right away. They likely as well as Magic Leap founder Abovitz knows they need to make it smaller and there is a ton of software development left to do on it.

      From the technology description it projects a laser that then uses mirrors to direct the laser light. This is not like the kind of light that can damage your retina but provides a very focused beam. The video image then gets projected directly into the retina explaining the reason they may need FDA approval. The thing that was interesting there was a listing needing 63 engineers the next day after Google and KKR investment. So it seems they have built something impressive but not nearly ready for primetime.

      The other technology bit is what they call light fields to eliminate jaggies and lines in the video. Light fields from the description only focuses your eye is tracked and only renders images that your eye focuses on. The reasoning for lightfields it reduces the load on the CPU/GPU by only focusing on things the eye can see and it works like the way the human eye works.

      Problems I can see by the number of engineers they hired the product needs a lot more work to get to market. The benefits the resolution based on earlier writings from Thomas was the resolution goal was around 4,000 DPI. Now does that mean that they are dealing with 4k in each eye doubtful? The biggest selling point is that it is likely lighter than the current generation of the Oculus Rift. It also could be possibly less cumbersome than the Rift?

      But in the end it’s likely at least 2 to 3 years away from production if not more and it’s very likely the rift will get smaller and less cumbersome by that time. Two different approaches but both likely achieve similar objectives. Why did Brenden come out and talk like this is because the CEO of Magic Leap all but claimed that the thing walks on water. Brenden need to raise questions about what founder Abovitz was talking about how it was far beyond Oculus and others.

      Well Brenden needed to come out and talk because no one has seen the technology yet? The other issue is all this hype could hurt Oculus Rift sales without a product yet? These are the problems that Brenden is facing and he needs to insure customers that the product they are buying is not going to Oculus Rift sae could be hurt VS


  2. Magic Leap has stated that their technology can be used for VR as well, including having a wide FOV.

  3. I feel leap magic deals with virtualizing a visualized object into real life reality. By merging real world and visualized images retrieved from brain n creating computer graphical image of them.

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