Magic Leap's Latest Job Posting Shows They're Getting Ready for Mass Production
Few companies have maintained such intense secrecy, in the face of such extreme hype, as Magic Leap, but the closer their mysterious Mixed Reality product comes to mass production, the harder it becomes to hide the details. Hopefully we'll find out way more details soon, as a Magic Leap job posting for a supply chain manager hint that they're readying for release in the next couple years.
Specifically, Magic Leap wants to hire a Florida-based Supply Chain Configuration Control Manager to tackle "configuration management":
[A] critical discipline in delivering products that meet customer requirements and that are built according to approved design documentation. As a Configuration Control Manager, you would be responsible for the coordination and management of the PDM/PLM bill of material and support documentation, and its input and quality in our ERP system.
One job post in the wind may seem inconsequential, and a supply chain hire is a natural position for a tech company working towards mass production complex hardware to fill, but the timing tells us a lot. When you're an R&D based company creating small numbers of prototypes, you don't exactly have a massive supply chain to manage.
You create a supply chain when ramping up production to get an end product out the door and what this new employee does will eventually provide more clues. Supply chains leaks are a major source of information about upcoming Apple hardware. Like Apple, Magic Leap can only hide so much for so long.
This job ad doesn't tell us exactly when Magic Leap is poised to release their mysterious headset. But they wouldn't need to hire for this position if they weren't looking to mass produce something. Since we haven't heard much about any other hardware outside of their upcoming head-mounted display (HMD)—just software—so we can only assume they've gotten much closer to solidifying their developer kits (and eventual consumer headset) and want to get them into more hands.
Designing and implementing a supply chain isn't a quick process, but if the HoloLens' release timeline (thus far) serves as a realistic indicator then we shouldn't have to wait more than two years. Magic Leap could be a consumer reality in late 2018, and we'll obviously see a developer kit prior to that. We can only speculate on time, but at the very least, this is an indicator that Magic Leap is moving in the right direction.