Creativity is disruptive. Creativity scares the established way things are. I started Magic Leap out of a pure creative impulse, with a belief that if I simply took a few steps out of the Shire, and got on the road, that I would eventually find the way to bring a very wild and fun vision to life.
I grew up wanting to be an artist and scientist, a musician and engineer. I never saw or cared for the barriers we have in society separating the creative arts from technology – they were, and still are, one and the same for me.
The next few decades will likely see machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) approach, and perhaps surpass, many human intellectual capabilities. Machines may become the dominant centers for intelligence and technical skill on the planet, outpacing people.
This worries me.
Creativity matters. People matter. At Magic Leap, what we are building is designed to bend technology to serve the needs of people. We are emotional beings, not information systems. We create and dream and think. We love, we laugh, we taste, we feel. We experience things that we can not explain.
What we are building is meant to amplify you. The team at Magic Leap is fighting hard each day to make a new computing platform, one that steps closer to making technology feel like it is part of your everyday life, expressing the best of your practical day and opening the door to your creative, inner life. The life of novels and film entering our world.
I see our journey at Magic Leap extending out over many decades, over many products and technologies, guided by a single vision of how technology must serve us, how it can tap into the best of what we all already have inside. People first.
Our first product is coming. My office in our new building is right next to a small model home we built, right smack in the middle of everything. A home where we can test how Magic Leap will fit into your life each day. We also have a really big space, one where spaceships can exist at full scale, a Tyrannosaurus Rex can stare you down and roar, and a school of fish (plus a reasonably sized whale) can swim about happily. Our PEQ systems (Product Equivalent) are in both hardware and software agile build cycles – so we can test and iterate. Our team, our friends, and development partners can experience each day what you too will experience.
I think a lot about our inner child – the one who believed that everything was possible, who dreamed without limits. Artists and writers and filmmakers and painters understand and channel this force within us. We all have it.
Our first system will be the first step towards a really cool dream. Of flying squirrels and sea monkeys and rainbow powered unicorns. Of most anything you can imagine. Powered by very serious engineering and technology, built and designed by some of the best engineers and scientists in the world, with all of us dreaming the same dream.
2017 will be a big year for Magic Leap. Enjoy the ride with us – it will be fun. Magic Leap is for the dreamer, the artist, and the wide-eyed kid within us all. But what we are building is no longer just a dream. It is very real, and we are way past the "is it possible stage". We are not about building cool prototypes. We are scaling up so we can manufacture hundreds of thousands of systems, and then millions. That requires a level of perfection, testing, and attention to detail by determined professionals. We have made something that is small, mobile, powerful, and we think pretty cool.
I was joined on my journey to build Magic Leap by hundreds of brilliant people. We have all co-created something wonderful. Walking around our manufacturing facility, just near the end of 2016, I was humbled by the intensity and capability of our team, by the sheer force of a collective will coming together. My flight of fantasy and dream is now concrete, full of whirring machinery, design meetings, and thoughtful teams engaged in deep technical reviews and debates.
Being in the center of this wonderful storm, I can understand how we may look from the outside. This whirl of creative possibility fueled by tech investment, dreams of a future that seem impossible.
But also being in the center, I have had the experience of my life, watching some of the best and brightest from around the world come together to make something seemingly impossible happen (our engineering motto "we make the impossible very hard – and we get it done").
A good analogy for where we are: the principal photography has been shot, and we are in the editing room, watching rough cuts, and iterating each day. I want to share with all of you what we are doing – but I want to do it when we are done. One of my biggest thrills is watching a new visitor experience for the first time what we are making. I often jump in and play a game of Dr. G, just to remind myself this is really happening. All of us at Magic Leap love finding and understanding those great and magical moments in what we are building, so you can have those moments for many years to come.
I have always been inspired by those who push really hard to make something just right – and that is what we are doing now, every day. You will determine if we succeed, if we made your wishes come true. I want to make sure all of us here put our sweat and soul into what we give you.
We are not going for perfect, but for a feeling, a flow, a moment to high-five our inner child. Our photonics may be powered by a novel array of unique nano-structures designed by our otherworldly optics team. Our sensors and computing pack a lot of punch in a small package. But the experience you should have must feel as if it were powered by unicorns and rainbows (and we have had many of those here).
Magic Leap is for the kid in you, the one who dreamed big dreams, the one who still imagines. It is also for the adult, the practical one who needs to get through life, who needs to do more with less. You are both at once. Creative and practical. So are we.
"I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." - Albert Einstein