Back in April, I met a couple of the people behind the much-hyped augmented reality (AR) system Magic Leap in an attempt to uncover some of the mystery behind the project. During that meeting, a number of off-the-record matters were discussed, one of which was the fact that the company planned to open its platform to developers.
Today, at the EmTech Digital conference, Magic Leap chief creative officer, Graeme Devine, confirmed those plans during an appearance with the company’s CEO, Rony Abovitz and science fiction author Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash), who now works with the company.
Those plans include releasing a software development kit (SDK), which the company hopes developers and interactive storytellers will experiment with. Devine also confirmed that the SDK will be compatible with game development engines Unity and Unreal.
“The awesome stuff is not going to come from us,” said Devine, according to the MIT Technology Review, “it’s going to come form everyone out there.”
On the developer portion of the website, the company’s message to developers reads:
Using our Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signal, imagine being able to generate images indistinguishable from real objects and then being able to place those images seamlessly into the real world.
Imagine what experiences you could create if you had this ability. Imagine how this would completely transform how people interact with both the digital and real-worlds. Imagine you being one of the first to help transform the world forever.
A great deal of interest has swirled around Magic Leap in recent months following Google’s major investment in the company. Adding to the excitement, reports from those who have tested the system have been uniformly positive, indicating that it’s like nothing on the market in terms of interactive media consumption.
Image: magic leap
During my meeting with the company, although they were reluctant to describe exactly what the mechanism looks like, I did confirm that the system is designed to be mobile, allowing the user to view AR content anywhere, from the living room to the park. There were also hints that a major movie franchise pairing may be in works.
Although Devine didn’t reveal when the SDK would be available, according to some sources I’ve been in contact with, the platform may become available sometime this summer.