Imagine How Fun It Will Be to Shoot Virtual Robots in Your Office


Magic Leap, a mysterious tech start-up that raised $542 million in funding last fall, just released a concept video that hints at what its team of all-star developers has been up to.

In the footage, casually captioned “just another day in the office at Magic Leap,” a user — presumably wearing some sort of headset — pulls up apps like YouTube and email that float in midair. But the fun part comes about 30 seconds in when the user opens a game, chooses from among the weapons that materialize on his desk, and shoots progressively larger robots. (Magic Leap assures us that “no robots were harmed in the making of this video.”)

If that catches your attention, you're in good company: Magic Leap's fall funding round was led by Google and included Legendary Entertainment (the studio behind Interstellar and Inception) and Qualcomm Incorporated, a mobile tech company. Although Magic Leap hasn't shared much publically about what it's been up to, it has hinted that its technology will tap into our visual and sensory perception to mimic the way we naturally process the world.

There are plenty of companies trying to introduce people to a new version of reality, but Magic Leap’s combination of funding and brainpower stands out. The company’s CEO is Rony Abovitz, a Silicon Valley whiz whose first company, Mako Surgical, was purchased for $1.65 billion. Combine Abovitz with Brian Schowengerdt, a researcher who specializes in fiber optic projectors — compact devices that produce realistic virtual images — and you get a team with the funding and capability to produce the sort of tech it’s bragging about.

In the absence of real information, reporters have gone so far as to dissect job listings and patent applications to try to suss out Magic Leap’s plans. For now, the company remains tight-lipped, and those who would know more must content themselves with imagining how fun it could be to hunt down robots in the office ... in the basement ... in the backyard ...