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Google-funded Magic Leap takes step toward awesome AR apps, announces SDK

Just another day in the office at Magic Leap
Exciting developments in the world of augmented reality could be just around the corner after Magic Leap – an AR outfit that last year caught the attention of Google in a big way – said it’s ready to open up its platform to third-party developers.

Graeme Devine, Magic Leap’s chief creative officer, revealed the startup’s plans at MIT’s EmTech Digital conference on Tuesday, saying he wanted content creators involved in games, movies, and other sectors to help take its technology to the next stage.

According to information from TechCrunch, Devine’s team is gearing up to release a software development kit that supports Unity and Unreal – two leading game development engines used in the industry today.

Magic Leap came to wider attention last October when it emerged that a team of investors led by Google had injected more than $500 million into the startup. Details of its technology released at the time caused a stir in the industry, with CEO and founder Rony Abovitz insisting it would “revolutionize the way people communicate, purchase, learn, share and play.”

Utilizing a small, lightweight headset, the wearer can apparently experience a super-realistic 3D experience beyond anything seen on the market today. Further building up expectation, Abovitz dismissed “virtual reality” and “augmented reality” as “old terms” while describing Magic Leap’s offering as “cinematic reality.”

In December, Magic Leap hired sci-fi author Neal Stephenson as its ‘chief futurist,’ a job title that must surely be the envy of many working in the AR industry today.

On the potential of its technology to significantly transform gaming, Stephenson said it felt like “the right time to give [gamers] a new medium: one in which three-dimensionality is a reality and not just an illusion laboriously cooked up by your brain, and in which it’s possible to get up off the couch and move not only around your living room, but wherever on the face of the earth the story might take you.”

He added, “Making such games is not going to be a matter of porting existing ones to the new system. It’s going to mean redefining the medium from the ground up.” Put like that, Magic Leap’s ambitions certainly sound like a tantalizing prospect.

Developers keen to find out more about the company’s SDK kit are encouraged to register their interest here.

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Trevor Mogg
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