- Thomson Reuters
On Thursday, the Google-backed startup Magic Leap and Disney’s Lucasfilm announced a partnership.
The two companies revealed they are building a collaborative lab where they will be able to work together to “co-invent” the future, especially of entertainment.
The partnership has been more than a year in development.
“This is probably a dream come true” Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz said on stage at Wired’s Business Conference, noting that the partnership felt like it was “fated.”
John Gaeta of ILMxLab said that collaboration was part of Lucasfilm’s push to integrate “fantasy into your everyday life.”
Abovitz also showed off a new video of Magic Leap’s technology in action, where virtual versions of Star Wars’ C3PO and R2D2 existing within a real-world apartment bring the user up to speed on a mission involving Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt. The video, filmed entirely through the Magic Leap device, was created in collaboration with Lucasfilm.
— Magic Leap (@magicleap) June 16, 2016
Magic Leap, which has raised $1.39 billion from investors including Google, has been quietly working on an augmented reality device that claims to be able to show virtual, lifelike objects within a real-world environment. The company, which has shifted from describing its technology as “augmented reality” to “cinematic reality” and now to “mixed reality,” has yet to publicly show off its hardware.
Lucasfilm’s Rob Bredow said he is particularly excited about “MR” (mixed reality) because he believes that combining the “best of the practical world and the best of the digital world makes the most compelling and believable expression.” And Lucasfilm has as much experience as any company with blending natural and digital special effects.
“Lucasfilm has created some of the most iconic characters of our time. Ones that dare us to dream, unlock our imagination and excite us to go on a journey with them,” Abovitz said in a press release. “Magic Leap is creating a whole new medium: Mixed Reality Lightfields, designed to harness the power of your imagination and take you to places you never thought possible. Collaboration between our two companies is a perfect fit, and I can’t wait to share the results with the world.”