Sounds a lot like Theranos.
We're all stuck indoors, virtual reality tech should be hot. So why is Magic Leap chopping half its workforce?
The bubble appears to have finally burst on augmented-reality darling Magic Leap, with its CEO announcing on Wednesday he was slashing its workforce in half. This comes after the startup abandoned its consumer focus to instead target enterprise. “To better prepare Magic Leap for the future, we have taken a close look at our …
Thursday 23rd April 2020 09:28 GMT Anonymous Coward
Thursday 23rd April 2020 16:35 GMT cornetman
I don't know if the difference is quite so large as you suggest.
With Theranos, I have no doubt that the original intention was to produce the testing device as claimed. The problems came when it became obvious that it wasn't as easy as was originally envisaged, at which point the rot set in and, well, we now know how that went.
In the case of Magic Leap, I see no reason to doubt that they do want to produce the system that was initially envisaged. Again, it is a HARD problem. Publicly they are massively over-promising and under delivering. Whether that could be called fraud really depends on whether or not they are actually lying to investors as they obviously were at Theranos. That may well not be the case, but you have to wonder.
Wednesday 22nd April 2020 23:36 GMT Imhotep
Wednesday 22nd April 2020 23:37 GMT Pascal Monett
"the startup has consistently over-promised and under-delivered"
It's when the lies became obvious (the fake videos) that my confidence deflated. Not that I had had much confidence to start with.
I have always been wary of virtual reality. I already see no interest in motion blur - when I move my mouse fast enough there's already enough blur, thank you.
That said, I am willing to admit that Augmented Reality might be an interesting idea, just like Apple was not wrong when it first tried to interest people in tablets. The Newton failed because the hardware was just not up to the job. Microsoft failed after that, and only when Apple finally made the iPad did Microsoft finally pull off the Surface (and that, only in the 3rd iteration).
In other words, I can imagine that Augmented Reality will be a thing, but that will only happen when the glasses have a battery charge that can support a full day's work - and that won't happen until our modern "smart" phones can last more than 12 hours without desperately needing a top-up.
Because if technology cannot give us a 200 gram slab of communication that can last more than 12 hours without a recharge, then how can Magic Leap be expected to deliver a product that can not only deliver a highly graphically-intensive product (something that phones do not promise), but also package it into something that hipsters can wear in the streets ?
It ain't possible. I'm sorry for all the certainly intelligent people that have spent a good portion of their life on this, but it just ain't feasible.
That said, Abovitz still deserves to hang. A liar is a liar.
Thursday 23rd April 2020 00:23 GMT Starace
Decent AR, at a price
The Varjo XR-1 does a pretty good job of AR, none of those stupid optics either - the optical combiner route is just never going to work well enough to really 'augment' reality.
Then again it is properly 'incredibly expensive' at €12k to get one in your hands. Plus the cost of something with enough grunt to drive it.
Excellent toy though if you're able to talk someone into buying one for you for 'development'.
Thursday 23rd April 2020 01:30 GMT YetAnotherJoeBlow
Thursday 23rd April 2020 05:01 GMT redpawn
Thursday 23rd April 2020 10:00 GMT Mage
All about the intellectual property
"The IP portfolio means that when someone does finally crack AR’s tough technical issues, whoever holds Magic Leap’s patents will be able to demand healthy royalty payments."
Mostly because the USPTO operation is totally broken.
1) Nothing to do with Software should be allowed. That's covered by copyright.
2) There should be a higher charge for rejections, about x10 higher than acceptance.
3) There should be proper search of Prior Art.
4) Nothing easily cooked up by anyone expert in the field.
5) Most things should have a prototype.
6) No business processes or franchises.
7) Nothing essentially based on maths. i.e. FM radio should have not had patents.
Also stop calling cosmetic design / shapes a Design Patent. They should either be copyright or Registered designs because of a unique appearance, like the fluted coca-cola "coke" bottle. Not simply rounded corners.
The present system is biased in favour of companies with teams of patent lawyers and a small amount of technical people doing almost no research and less development. It also encourages companies to buy up and destroy companies just for the IP. See Google and Qualcomm acquisitions.
The USPTO makes money from accepting applications and doesn't "waste" money on Prior Art searches. Their theory is that existing IP holders will sue in court and get the invalid patent thrown out. Except that favours rich USA Corporations and Lawyers.
The fake IP also aids offshoring via fake royalty payments (Starbucks, Apple etc).
Edison hounded people over stuff he patented which was already invented elsewhere. Eventually the US Government had to invalidate his "motion picture" patents. The US has known about this problem for over 100 years, but chooses to favour the biggest USA corporations rather than small companies or consumers or foreign companies.
Thursday 23rd April 2020 16:21 GMT fredesmite
Magic Leap is a sweat shop
I've been contacted more than once to work there .. They only hire "contract to hire " which means that don't pay bonus, profit sharing , stock hire-on , benefits, PTO , or unemployment insurance .. they get free development work for 12 hrs .. then move on to the next sucker that believes their lies
NEVER JOIN A Hi_TECH COMPANY AS CONTRACT TO HIRE