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Saudi Arabia takes a (Magic) Leap of Faith on VR/AR technology

Le casque de réalité augmentée Magic Leap

Le casque de réalité augmentée Magic Leap

On March 7, the Florida based virtual and augmented Reality startup Magic Leap raised $400 million from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Since its creation, the startup raised $2.3 billion in funding and yet, hasn’t released a product.

So why would the Saudi be interested in joining a list of investors such as Alphabet Inc’s Google, Alibaba Group, Warner Bros or even J.P. Morgan Investment Management ? Well, obviously the investors’ party looks nice. But most of all, they share the belief that Magic Leap could change and shape the future of human-computer interaction.

Magic Leap, realeased in 2018

And this comes with a cost as the startup is building its strategy on the development of a whole new range of display and sensors technologies, as well as its very own operating system. The first MagiC Leap AR headset, the “Magic Leap One, Creator Edition”, should be released in 2018 after 8 years of development.

It is said that the first demos were met with scepticism in some quarters of Silicon Valley, but it won’t prevent Magic Leap CEO, Rony Abovitz, to keep dreaming big. According to his own words, he wants technology to be able to offer more human and “visceral” experiences”.

“A creative hub for gamers”

Simply put, he wants Magic Leap to become “a creative hub for gamers, game designers, writers, coders, musicians, filmmakers, and artists” and why not transform the process of education.