Magic Leap Teases Augmented Reality SDK

Magic Leap burst onto the augmented reality landscape in October 2014 with a staggering vision of what AR can and should do. Now it appears as though Google-funded Magic Leap is ready to let developers access some of its technology through a forthcoming SDK.

At the MIT Technology Review EmTech Digital Summit this week, Magic Leap chief creative officer Graeme Devine said the company has built an SDK that supports the Unreal and Unity game engines. These engines have been a core factor in boosting the development of virtual reality. Devine declined to provide any details about what the SDK offers and said only that it will arrive "soon."

Magic Leap's developer website has a few additional nuggets of information.

"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," says Magic Leap. "Imagine what experiences you could create if you had this ability. Imagine how this would completely transform how people interact with both the digital and real-worlds. Imagine you being one of the first to help transform the world forever."

The company said it is keeping public disclosures to a minimum at the moment. Developers and others interested in talking will need to sign nondisclosures about what's possible. Magic Leap has a signup tool on its website and says only that "someone will be in touch."

Magic Leap has revealed precious little about its hardware. The headset is expected to be able to make the real and unreal indistinguishable from each other in the wearer's field of view. In a video demonstration released earlier this year, the company shows what it would be like to create a first-person shooter that's played in your own office building. (Seriously, you need to watch this.)

Magic Leap scored $592 million in funding last fall. TechCrunch reports that Magic Leap has used some of that cash to build a 300,000-square-foot "pilot manufacturing facility" in Florida for the company's photonic lightfield chip. This chip is what works the magic under the hood. Magic Leap's headset shoots light directly into the user's eyes, rather than displaying the content on a screen suspended close to the wearer's eyeballs. Apparently it needs a lot of space in which to let people wander around.

"We’re out of the R&D phase and into the transition to real product introduction," said CEO Rony Abovitz, adding, "There is no off-the-shelf stuff that does what we’re describing."

At this point, all you can do is sign up for the SDK and hope Magic Leap reaches out.

Be sure to read the next Augmented Reality article: Google Updates Cardboard SDKs and Expands Global Reach


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