Augmented reality startup Magic Leap wants to merge the digital and the physical worlds.
In October, CEO Rony Abovitz first shared the idea of the “Magicverse,” a series of digital layers that would exist in AR over the physical world.
On Saturday, the company elaborated on the concept with a blog post and new interview — and its vision of the future is one in which the line between the physical and digital realms blurs until it almost disappears.
The Magicverse is a big idea that can take a minute to wrap one’s head around.
Essentially, Magic Leap envisions a future in which any location — ranging from a room to a whole country — has not only a physical presence, but also a digital one that takes the form of various layers. One layer might focus on health and wellness, for example, and another on entertainment, and still another on mobility.
People would access these layers via technology including, but not limited to, Magic Leap’s AR headset.
The company sees a wealth of potential benefits to the Magicverse.
“The Magicverse can provide massive economic amplifiers to communities around the world, erode space and time boundaries, and enable communication and work to occur in completely new ways, at fractions of the cost of current physical systems,” according to the blog post.
Unfortunately, building it won’t be easy — or cheap.
“One of the conditions to enable the Magicverse is the hundreds of billions of dollars of new infrastructure to create high-speed network and edge computing zones in modern cities across many countries,” according to the blog post. “5G (and what follows it) are major components of what feels like a new, spatial internet.”
The Magicverse’s creators will also have a host of privacy issues to navigate, given all the personal data that would exist in this new digital world, but Magic Leap claims it’s already working on policies and architectures to protect that data.
“There are many competing visions. Some functional, some dystopian,” Abovitz told VentureBeat. “We want ours to be more positive, decentralized, and a place where people possess their digital information. We have to architect it so it can’t be misused.”