Warner Bros. and Alibaba make the Magic Leap to AR

Stephen L Kanaval |

$794 million means something. Google giving you $542 million means something...

The Florida startup Magic Leap has raised $1.4 billion in the last two years. Magic Leap is augmented reality company that uses its patented Mixed Reality Lightfield technology to allow viewers the chance to see computer-generated images interacting with reality. So, imagine T-Rex chasing you down your driveway or the plane in North by Northwest zooming over your cul-de-sac.


Magic Leap's mission is to merge the real world and the digital world seamlessly, and now they have even more spending cash to make that possible.

Warner Brothers, Fidelity Management, J.P. Morgan, and Morgan Stanley have already backed the startup, which gave them the capital to begin construction on a 259,000 manufacturing facility. The company's CEO Rony Abovitz has given ambiguous information about what type of prototype it is they are exactly building. He has mentioned in interview that it is complex, blends technology, and will be made for large scale production. Alibaba's investment will make inroads to China much easier. The Asian e-commerce giant will also offer strategic advice on how to configure the device for mass consumption. Alibaba's vice chair Joe Tsai will now be on Magic Leap's board.

The AR technology market is gaining traction. Technology like the Facebook-owned Oculus and the HoloLens from Windows are going to give consumers the chance to immerse themselves in a virtual reality experience that is being carefully and beautifully designed for more than just entertainment purposes. The anticipation of the market explosion for AR will require patience, but the entertainment dollar and its applications in other sturdy sectors like healthcare and education could mean a big payday for investors.

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