So tell me, what's to keep someone from using the depth information on the front camera, using a Google Dream VR setup (but instead of covering the back of the iphone, use that sensor for the world around them) and then projecting poor man's AR with today's world. If the answer is wrong sensors, they can fix that next year, and do it at a size and a scale that no one else can touch.
You just took a hardware problem, and made it a software problem.
The fact that Peter Jackson has evidently jumped ship to ARKit is a pretty big sign that Apple is going to get there first.
Apple's focus on ML on the phone directly, not requiring a server at the RTT latency is perfect for this application. They have hardware no one can touch, and do full stack miniaturization like no one else. Plus they also attract "lifestyle" buyers.
Probably the depth sensor is not high enough resolution. The camera is not high enough resolution. The phone battery will be dead in 45 minutes. I imagine the high end AR market would be for things like surgery where extreme precision matters. For instance hook a high precision AR device up to a C-arm and the way angioplasty is carried out would be completely changed forever.
In precisely the areas where Apple has or might end up having difficulty competing with the likes of, say, Google and their massive datasets, the focus on privacy and security might very well be enough for consumers to go for the 'inferior' product.
For example, I've considered switching away from Apple for my new phone, but the security of the iPhone (or so I've read multiple times here on HN) is enough to keep from even considering a switch to an Android device even if everything else were better on Android.
The same goes for my photos. I'd love the features Google Photos offers, but I just don't feel comfortable uploading them all to their servers. While Apple's implementation of these features might be inferior, at least I can keep things on my (secure) devices.
Is this actually true?
Geekbenchmark is a bad test. It does a series of short burst tests spaced out over time. These avoid harsh thermal throttling on mobile devices, yet on larger desktops they don't register as a heavy workload so the maximum clock doesn't come into play. Bigger chips will stay down clocked.
Effectively what Geekbenchmark's result ends benchmarking sleep state transition speed.
Desktop/Laptops don't spin up/down as fast as cellphones so this heavily favors them. Just doing a continuous long test would heavily favor desktops/laptops as they have better designed heatsinks.
iPhones do have great processors, just fair mobile/desktop test are very hard. They are different chips, that require different power, change clock states in different ways, and have different thermal constraints.
The core workloads in most scenarios are very different, so fair for one isn't fair for another.
Modern X64 cores are super smart. Not just on _easy_ things, like predicting branches, and how data flows though instructions. But with caching, memory access, inter-core communication, cache snooping, and cache synchronization/invalidation.
The real issue for modern system is RAM access. Everything you CPU does between hitting RAM may as well be instant how expensive a RAM hit is.
X64 has a large cache hierarchy to make this rarer. A11/A10X/A10 less so.
Ps: should be noted that the embedded GPU in the A11 contributes many transistors.
Hololens is close, but the kit is waaaay to bulky still (and low FoV, not bad tho). In a few years tho... some kind of ARKit accessory will absolutely kill in this space.
And I'm baffled in light of the space (AR), where I feel like there are a lot of high profile players and fast movers. Not delivering seems incredibly untenable.
Trilogy Systems Corporation was a computer systems company started in 1980. Originally called ACSYS, the company was founded by Gene Amdahl, his son Carl Amdahl and Clifford Madden. Flush with the success of his previous company, Amdahl Corporation, Gene Amdahl was able to raise $230 million for his new venture. Trilogy was the most well funded start-up company up till that point in Silicon Valley history. It had corporate support from Groupe Bull, Digital Equipment Corporation, Unisys, Sperry Rand and others. The plan was to use extremely advanced semiconductor manufacturing techniques to build an IBM compatible mainframe computer that was both cheaper and more powerful than existing systems from IBM and Amdahl Corporation.
In 1983, the company had an initial public offering and raised $60 million.
By mid-1984, the company decided it was too difficult to manufacture their computer design. Gene Amdahl stepped down as CEO and Henry Montgomery was brought in as replacement.
Sure, but I'm sure there were engineers at Theranos who thought their tech was going to be a game-changer as well. Being confident in a product doesn't mean the product is actually any good.
> Not delivering seems incredibly untenable.
I would happily place a bet they will never deliver, or if they do deliver it ends up being lackluster and nowhere near what they originally promised. They showed a demo video two years ago (that turned out to not actually be a demo), and haven't released anything since.
Technology does not stand still in that time: in 2015, the iPhone had a single rear and front-facing camera. Soon you'll be able to buy one with stereographic rear cameras and a dot-projection IR depth mapper on the front, with what is from all accounts an extremely good AR software framework.
Oculus, Apple, and Google aren't just twiddling their thumbs waiting for Magic Leap to release a product. They are actively putting money into R&D, and shipping iteratively. Apple's going to have real-world AR experience and feedback from iOS 11 and the iPhone X that Magic Leap won't have.
I'd love to be wrong - it'd be great to have another player in the space, and maybe their tech is awesome. But if you look at what everyone else is doing compared to what they've released...it doesn't look good.
I guarantee you that Apple is researching the same kinds of display tech that Magic Leap is (they have patents today on head-mounted displays). If/when they release their hardware their SLAM architecture will have been tried and tested across millions of phones. That is a massive advantage.
And yes iPhone X is really smart.
Mediocre relative to which CVCs? Intel Capital?
Intel Capital has been around for quite a bit so that would be an unfair comparison. I am curious to how you reached your conclusion?
Made possible by apples truly vertically integrated hardware/software biz.
Especially in comparison to goog with their stillborn Project Tango due to the huge android platform fragmentation.
So how is a magic leap worth $6b? Consider that Android generated in excess of $31billion in revenue by Jan '16(1).
Having a "killer app" to capture market share in the coming AR consumer platform wars is easily worth that price of admission and if ML pulls it off $6b will look cheap.
Total raised: $1.39B. The last round was almost $800M in Feb.
This $500M will bring the total to $1.9B.
All the hardware that went into the first iPhone (the last really breathtaking consumer gadget) was decades in the making, with many iterative intermediate steps along the way. Attempting to go from 0 to 60 in one product cycle is kind of crazy, but I'm not sure how else you would do it this day and age with expectations being so high, there's no room for anything half baked. Either you make the leap or you don't.
I would totally pay $2k for ar glasses that live up to the hype, though even under the best of circumstances, I don't expect Magic Leap to be living up to any hype for several more years.
Mostly I'm wondering how many examples we actually have of Magic Leap type situations actually ending up being a success.
While the iPhone was a breakthrough, it wasn't so much a breakthrough in pure technology (rather, it was mostly the innovative combination of existing tech). Furthermore, it had the weight and expertise of Apple behind it.
What examples do we have of companies similar to Magic Leap, where the success is dependent on true technical innovation in a space where they compete with some of the best and brightest working for BigCorps? Honest question. While I can think of many cases where the result proved to be 'vaporware', I can't think of many (if any) success-stories in this particular kind of situation.
Having said that Magic Leap's investors are Google, Andreessen Horowitz and Qualcom. The board is comprised of Google's CEO and Qualcom's executive chairman.
That's all very impressive in my opinion.
This is an old, old issue in tech investing.
Sometimes companies have amazing demos - but the ability to make a product is limited, or the market potential is limited.
That this money is coming from far-away, is not a good sign. If they were truly hot, then the 'good firms' would be lining up. I loathe to use the term 'dumb money' but there is a lot of it flooding into the US as of late - a similar thing was happening during the 2000 bubble, but this might be more sustainable as before it was regular money from overseas, or from big-boston firms - but now - the money coming in from Asia is sustainable. All that money we send for cheap stuff has to come back and find a home somewhere.
And 'dumb' is a relative/unfair term as well - for some investors, it makes much more sense to take on higher risk than others as their personal needs and opportunity are different. If you have $1B sitting in a fund and nowhere to put it, and your local government can come along and snatch it up at any time either through currency dilution or appropriation - well - all of a sudden a slightly-risky investment in Magic Leap makes much more sense than it would to say, Anderseen Horowitz.
For example, what is the value of the patent portfolio they are putting together by being first to most technical challenges?
The technology has to be undeniably the most advanced thing ever created in order to succeed. Look at HoloLens. Truly incredible technology with lots of potential. But the UX isn't great and the form factor is a showstopper for every day use. Microsoft has opted to cancel their second iteration in favour of the third. Perhaps we'll see a magic leap then, from them, before Magic Leap.
It appears as though the technology is there to get near the form factor of glasses. If you tethered the glasses to a phone sized device in my pocket, that's good enough. I suspect that's what MS is working on now, and I suspect that's Magic Leap's goal.
What remains to be seen is how these companies can adapt their technology to interface better with humans. When you're using a computer, you sort of forget you're using a mouse. When you're using HoloLens, you're painfully aware of the input mechanisms - they leave a lot to be desired, and are in no way immersive. That's the other 99% of this problem for these companies. Holograms are one hard problem. But there are at least two. You have to make it useable. It needs to fall away from your consciousness when you use it.
VR is easier in that regard, and when it comes to user interfacing, VR still falls flat on its face. VR sucks.
Make it work and not look dorky, and make it easy to use and you'll kill cellphones.
I'm sure they have made some good technical advances. But the fact that it's taken this long to productize it to something people can try is.. not promising.
Given their burn rate they really need the first product to have substantial market traction to sustain such valuations and keep moving. That's challenging to say the least..
For example, Nvidia's R&D budget spend for just their Tesla architecture was $3B.
For $6B I would hope you would use a stronger word than "likely". Such as "definitely".
From "football helmet-sized rig" to "sport sunglasses" is a huge leap (ha ha). Is that much miniaturization plausible within a few years?
I guess like all bubbles/crazy tech you can know they are there, but unless you know exactly when they are going to pop, it's not to useful.
This is going to be a solid fail once they start selling the tech and everyone catches on. How could one go about betting against?
That must be a day when Magic Leap could face the fate of Blackberry or Pebble!
It's almost comforting to read about negative to neutral gossip from ex-engineers.
They act like normal glasses or contacts (prescription or not) until you use voice controls to view info and such.