News: Magic Leap Expands to Switzerland with New Optics Center, Reveals More About Seattle Facility

Magic Leap Expands to Switzerland with New Optics Center, Reveals More About Seattle Facility

Facing mixed reviews for the Magic Leap One, Magic Leap has already returned to the lab to improve on the device's successor.

On Monday, in a bid to facilitate further innovation and spread its physical footprint, Magic Leap revealed a new Center of Excellence in Lausanne, Switzerland, which will expand the company's overall research and development capacity.

Magic Leap says it selected Lausanne because it is a "hub for innovation and forward-thinking technological developments.". Image by Magic Leap/YouTube

The Lausanne Center of Excellence "will focus its efforts on advancing Magic Leap's optics and photonics work for future devices," reads a blog post on Magic Leap's website site. In addition to the Switzerland location, similar work will be undertaken at Magic Leap optics centers in Plantation, Florida (the company's headquarters); Seattle, Washington; Boulder, Colorado; Sunnyvale, California; and Austin, Texas.

"Photonics and optics development is critical to the future of Magic Leap and spatial computing," said Paul Greco, the senior vice president of hardware engineering and programs at Magic Leap. "We assembled a world-class team that is very excited to help build the future of Magic Leap and spatial computing."

On Tuesday, Magic Leap also gave GeekWire a peek at its Seattle facility, which is led by the company's chief futurist Neal Stephenson.

According to the report, the Self-Contained Existence Unit (SCEU) is charged with expanding the possibilities of augmented reality content. Nicknamed "Goat Labs," due to its roots in attempting to transfer baby goat videos (a popular category on YouTube) into augmented reality, the team creates sample code for other developers to use.

In recent weeks, Magic Leap has faced criticism for the relatively limited field of view of its first device, with some also commenting on the bulky, sci-fi look of the device. Nevertheless, Magic Leap, like its current competitors, will have several cycles of iteration to address FoV improvements and shrink its optics down to a size that fits a more fashionable form factor.

CEO Rony Abovitz has even gone on record to say that these areas will be improved in future models. But for those future improvements to even matter the company will first have to figure out how to keep the public's interest while those features are developed over course of several years. With six facilities now dedicated to solving the optics problem, Magic Leap appears to at least have a realistic shot at achieving some of those goals.

Cover image via Bryan Crow/Next Reality

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