If you follow Magic Leap, you’re probably aware that they recently launched a program for MR app developers. The program helps to give developers access to Magic Leap hardware, as well as special workshops.
As far as outreach and accessibility are concerned, Magic Leap is one of the most outgoing groups out there. Here we’ll introduce you to the company in the unlikely event that you aren’t familiar with it. You’ll also gain some insight into their outreach that we gathered during a recent email interview.
A Quick Review of Magic Leap
Magic Leap is currently the biggest name in mixed reality. Mixed reality is different from virtual reality in that it draws on elements from the real world. It’s also different from augmented reality in that the digital and real elements can interact with one another.
Developers and creators are the foundation of spatial computing. Without their passion, vision and commitment there would not be a next generation of computing, and we keep that belief fundamental and core to our culture.
Naturally, that kind of technology doesn’t come cheap. Their newest model, Magic Leap 1, rings in at around US$2,300 with developer kits and enterprise kits costing even more. As a result, the tools are targeted primarily at industry solutions. However, there are is also a good number of casual MR apps – with that content often being award-winning independent experiences.
“‘Out There’ recently premiered at Comic Con Paris as the first immersive musical in spatial computing, along with ‘Breathe’ which premiered at Sundance New Frontier 2020,” said Rio Caraeff, Magic Leap’s Chief Content Officer. “Both are recent examples of the type of unforgettable location-enhanced experiences that developers can bring to life with Magic Leap.”
Giving MR App Developers the Support They Need
So how does hardware that’s so hard to get have so many great mixed reality apps? A lot of that has to do with the programs that the company offers to users.
“Developers and creators are the foundation of spatial computing. Without their passion, vision and commitment there would not be a next generation of computing, and we keep that belief fundamental and core to our culture,” said Caraeff. “It is our responsibility to give developers the access, tools and resources that they need, and to always serve them with reverence and respect.”
In 2018, Magic Leap announced the Independent Creator Program. The unique grant opportunity gave winners access not only to money, but also to hardware and developing and marketing support. The only catch was that the MR apps have to be available on Magic Leap.
The first round closed and winners were announced last spring with the promise that the program would return. It hasn’t returned yet, but a new opportunity was announced earlier this month.
The launch of Access Programs (And the Return of ICP?)
A blog post by Magic Leap described the beginning of Developer Access Programs. These access programs are kind of like pared-down versions of the Independent Creator Program. Established and aspiring MR app creators can apply for access to hardware. In exchange, their creations are fast-tracked to publishing by Magic Leap.
Later this year, we’ll roll out Access Enterprise programs designed to help developers connect with industries and businesses to bring spatial computing solutions to more customers.
Right now, Access Hardware is the only Access Program, but it won’t be the last.
“Later this year, we’ll roll out Access Enterprise programs designed to help developers connect with industries and businesses to bring spatial computing solutions to more customers, and to create more revenue and commercial opportunities for developers,” explained Caraeff. “We’ll also evolve and expand our Magic Leap Independent Creator Program to help more developers in our ecosystem with targeted financial grants and support.”
Creating MR Apps With Magic Leap
There’s a lot of conversation in the XR space about how to “democratize content” and help XR users create their own experiences for one another.
While the price of a Magic Leap headset may put you off from trying to create your MR app, the company is putting its tech in as many hands as possible. The resulting equation: creators get to create and users benefit.