Opinions about augmented reality (AR) upstart Magic Leap (ML) today rage far and wide; endlessly. Investors have backed the reclusive startup to the tune of more than a billion dollars to create an AR system including a new type of headset that has the potential to kick the industry into high gear. Other than a few video releases like this or this, most of us have gotten few glimpses of the system and products. They’ve raised a lot of money, been building for a few years, and the “people” are getting antsy they want to see it. In the absence of actual knowledge, the volume is up on the talk after the company announced it will ship products by summer’s end.
I’ve been saying this for a long time and will memorialize it here: We should all be excited no matter what. We will all be winning no matter if ML as a company wins or loses and here’s why:
Success. If ML succeeds the entire world will have access to amazing hardware and software to experience a better version of AR than we have now. No doubt the applications will range from medicine to movies to industrial manufacturing and education, and so many others.
Fails. Failure can mean many things. The tech can succeed and the company fails or all sorts of other combinations. But here’s the thing, ML employs hundreds if not thousands of people by the time it will be said and done, and those people will have tremendous learnings to carry out into the world and spread around. In other words, technology evolutions work a bit like Lego blocks, the next generation is usually built on the successes and failures of what came before. Thus, armed with the knowledge of a failed experiment, the next generation will be built until one works.
Regardless. Regardless of what happens to ML, there’s no doubt its mere existence encouraged the world’s largest tech companies and so many others to hit accelerate on AR or MR or visual tech development. The startup triggered billions of investment into R & D and something is real likely to come out of it as a result.
My take presumes ultimately AR will manifest into daily uses, both at work and at play; I believe it’s coming. Whether ML is a household name twenty years from now or not, it will have played a central role in developing what AR becomes. #Truth.
It was an extraordinary three days at the Santa Clara Convention Center. Thousands descended to talk about our increasingly augmented world. Founders, creators, entrepreneurs, investors, creatives, corporates, students, and startups lead and participated in robust conversations focused on AR Cloud, blockchain, and storytelling in AR.
I was impressed by the new Epson mixed reality glasses. The field of view was 23-degrees, but what I loved was the comfort level. And there were some really interesting companies, the vast majority building products and services in the Future of Work categories of healthcare, retail, security and marketing.
Some of the companies I found most impressive: @obsessVR@PerioSim @Xeste.io @CameraIQ #NeuroRehabVR #WallAR.
AWE announced they’ve added a conference in Israel this Fall.
Vermont has quietly done something no other state or federal entity has managed in the middle of global headlines about data privacy. The legislature passed a data broker law, requiring sellers of consumer personal data to register, maintain certain standards and if they don’t potentially face serious consequences.
These are brokers most consumers have never heard of because the companies serve businesses not individuals. I’ve heard these brokers referred to as modern day “garbage sifters.” Before the internet, they were going through your garbage for signs of what you buy, when, what medications, banks and that the household used so they could generate a profile and sell it to companies.
There was a line in one of the articles about the landmark law byTechCrunch that really stuck me:
“Data brokers have been quietly supplying everyone with your personal information for a long time. And advertising is the least of its applications: this data is used for informing shadow credit scores, restricting services and offers to certain classes of people, setting terms of loans, and more”.
For all the decades of laws outlawing redlining (where banks cannot discriminate based on where you live, often racially motivated), protecting our medical privacy rights (e.x. HIPAA Privacy Rules ) and consumer credit protection laws, are we now back to square one? How can there be zero accountability to the ever growing sources of data that may or may not be accurate, especially as new predictive algorithmic tools claim to make “scientific” conclusions based on the piles of information they collect?
We should all pay attention to how this law unfolds in Vermont.