Modern consumer tech is entirely devoted to developing products that are smaller, thinner, and faster. For example, Millions of people line up every year to get the newest iPhone, which is often a slimmer "upgraded" version of the prior model. As consumer electronics continue this trend, tech manufacturers are faced with a puzzling reality: they must grow sales and heighten product differentiation; the only problem is corporations tend to struggle with innovation. Perhaps this is why Google (GOOGL) canceled its Glass project and passed it off to Nest, a smaller subsidiary. Whether this is fact remains to be seen. Nevertheless, one new groundbreaking company aims to disrupt the entire B2C electronics market, ridding consumers of smartphones and handheld devices altogether.
Magic Leap is a revolutionary new company pursuing convergent reality wearable technologies. Its main product works by projecting light at a user's retinas, creating 3D interactive images (similar to a hologram). Magic Leap's technology blends artificial and real world light to create an alternative reality (we know, the concept is a bit extreme). However, the new technology could be a gateway for innovative ideas in the film, gaming, and travel industries. Seeing Magic Leaps' potential, Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and Kleiner Perkins have collectively invested over $540 million to ensure this revolutionary digital technology comes to fruition.
Although Magic Leap is not the first company to build an augmented reality device, it does appear to be the most promising. Other virtual reality products include Facebook's (FB) Oculus Rift and Microsoft's (MSFT) HoloLens. Although none of these devices have been highly successful, Magic Leap's CEO, Rony Abovitz, believes augmented reality will eventually overtake the smartphone market. Abovitz recently stated on a Reddit AMA session that Magic Leap "believe[s] people may want to use this new form of computing as much, if not more than, their mobile devices." Unlike rival augmented reality devices, Magic Leap creates 3D images that overlay real world surroundings, whereas Oculus Rift projects images into a purely virtual world.
Although this new technology is innovative and revolutionary, some people may view it as overly invasive. In all seriousness, Magic Leap's technology is rumored to be so lifelike that users are unable to differentiate between virtual reality and real life. However, although this is an incredible claim, there are potential health risks associated with augmented reality. For example, Abovitz famously proclaimed he would never wear Microsoft's HoloLens because it could be associated with permanent neurological defects. This being said, it remains to be seen how Magic Leap will develop its product to combat neurological issues. If Abovitz is successful in this regard, expect Magic Leap to become tech's most popular company.