Magic Leap Accused Of Faking Demo AR Video

Former employees of the company that has made waves with its augmented reality videos told the Information it was misleading people and overselling its capabilities.

If you haven’t heard of Magic Leap, you are clearly either not interested in the virtual/augmented reality space, or if you claim to be interested, then you have been living in a cave. So just in case, it is a secretive Dania Beach, Florida, startup that has been the talk of the AR world since it released its first demo video in March 2015.

And now, it turns out the video was likely faked. According to a report published Thursday in the Information, the video was created not as a recording made using Magic Leap technology, but instead by another company that does special effects. Former employees told the publication the company was intentionally misleading and probably “oversold what it can do.”

The robot-shooting game shown in the video didn’t really exist, and was actually an “aspirational conceptual” video made by a New Zealand company that also worked on the “Lord of the Rings” films. So there was no way the game was being played in the company’s office, as the name of the video suggested. Magic Leap has since started work on developing the same game, according to Inverse.

However, in the company’s defense, it should be noted that the logo of Weta Workshop, the New Zealand company, is prominently featured on that first video, and unlike the later videos Magic Leap released, it does not claim to be recorded directly through its own technology.

The Information report also mentioned the fact that a lot of the technology the company has shown off is actually incredible and really cool, but is very unlikely to be commercially available any time in the near future. And that is because of its size and bulk, which is so big it may not be possible to scale it down to a size small enough to be put in a headset, let alone into a pair of glasses CEO Rony Abovitz wants the final product to be. At least not any time soon.

Magic Leap is currently valued at about $4.5 billion and has received investments from companies including Google, Alibaba Group and Andreessen Horowitz.

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