At MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Digital conference in San Francisco this week, Magic Leap announced that it will begin to allow game makers, filmmakers and other creators to build augmented reality experiences on its platform, TechCrunch reported. The secretive Dania Beach company, which is developing “Cinematic Reality” technology, opened a developers section of its website where people can sign up for access to its SDK.
Onstage with CEO Rony Abovitz and Chief Futurist Neal Stephenson, Magic Leap’s Chief Creative Officer Graeme Devine wouldn’t say when the SDK would be released but said that it would be compatible with popular game development engines Unity and Unreal.
“We’re about having a completely open platform for every app developer, artist, writer, and filmmaker,” said Abovitz, according to MIT Technology Review. “We’re going to open it up for the world.”
Abovitz also announced that Magic Leap is spending part of its $592 million in venture funding to build a 300,000-square-foot pilot manufacturing facility in Florida for its “photonic lightfield chip,” TechCrunch reported. This chip powers its augmented reality headset that works by shooting light directly onto your eye, rather than sticking a screen in front of it, TechCrunch said.
Where in Florida? “We haven't yet publicly said where it will be, but rest assured, we're not going very far,” Andy Fouché, head of public relations and government affairs for Magic Leap, told the Miami Herald on Wednesday. Magic Leap is believed to have several hundred employees, mainly at its Dania Beach headquarters but also smaller offices in Mountain View, Calif., and other cities.
According to TechCrunch, Abovitz said Magic Leap is out of the R&D phase, and needed to build its own manufacturing facility because “there is no off the shelf stuff that does what we’re describing.”
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