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Magic Leap Hiring Software Engineers for New Development Lab on Lucasfilm’s San Francisco Campus

What to do with Magic Leap’s augmented reality technology? Developers can ask Yoda.

2 min read
Magic Leap Hiring Software Engineers for New Development Lab on Lucasfilm’s San Francisco Campus
Image: Lucasfilm

Magic Leap, the stealthy Florida-based company that has so impressed investors with its augmented reality demos that they’ve ponied up $1.4 billion to date, is beefing up its efforts to create content. The company has established a development lab on the Lucasfilm campus in San Francisco, located, Venture Beat reported, close to the Yoda fountain.

Last week, Magic Leap founder and CEO Rony Abovitz announced a partnership with Lucasfilm to develop Star Wars-related apps for Magic Leap. They’ll be using what the company calls its “Mixed Reality Lightfield” technology, the details of which are still under wraps. That project will clearly be happening in the San Francisco Lab. But the company isn’t betting that Star Wars games alone will be enough to make the technology take off. It plans to draw all sorts of developers into its San Francisco lab to work on applications for the new augmented reality technology.

Magic Leap may have some serious competition for augmented reality developers; with Pokemon Go capturing the imagination of gamers all over the world, it turns out that the AR explosion didn’t wait for Magic Leap to reveal its technology. AR games can be engaging even if you have to hold a phone up in front of you to peek into an AR world. Pokemon Go could be great news for Magic Leap, in the sense that it’s getting players used to AR technology and whetting their appetites for an AR interface that they don’t have to hold out in front of them. Or it could be a challenge: Can Magic Leap create compelling enough content to justify purchasing an expensive new device.

To support the developers it attracts, Magic Leap is in the process of hiring a team to work with those developers. Its job listings on LinkedIn currently include a number of posts that will be part of its “advanced content research group in San Francisco.” These include software engineers, infrastructure engineer, interaction engineer, and technical director. Some of these positions also are listed on the company’s internal hiring site.

No word yet as to how Magic Leap will reach out to developers for this lab, though it has made a few forays into the development community, for example, through a contest at Twilio’s Signal developer conference. Perhaps it could set out a Pokemon Go lure.

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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford

Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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