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Mysterious startup Magic Leap raises $50M to build a ‘rocket ship for the mind’

Image Credit: Peasap/Flickr

We don’t know exactly what Magic Leap does yet, but we do know that it is some hardcore science-fiction type stuff.

Magic Leap has soared its way into a whopping $50 million first round of funding. And all we know of the company thus far is that it involves ultra-sensory perception, human computing interfaces, and wearable technology.

Magic Leap said that it is working on a technology known as “cinematic reality.” It seems to be some sort of immersive virtual reality device.

“Magic Leap’s mission is to develop and commercialize what we believe will be the most natural and human-friendly wearable computing interface in the world,” said CEO and founder Rony Abovitz in a statement. “What is remarkable is how well the human body and mind respond when technology respects biology, so truly magical experiences become possible. In this new world of the intimate relationship between computing and human sensory systems, Magic Leap is bending its proprietary technology to meet the very human needs of our future users and co-creators. Our technology exists to unlock the creative spark found in all of us.”

High-minded as these words may be, they tell us very little about what Magic Leap does — or what cinematic reality does.

Abovitz was a cofounder of MAKO Surgical, a public company that built human-interactive robots for orthopedic surgery. MAKO was acquired by Stryker Corp for $1.65 billion in December 2013.

Magic Leap is working with Weta Workshop, a design studio and physical manufacturing facility that has worked on films such as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, King Kong, Avatar, District 9, Elysium and The Hobbit.  Weta Workshop’s cofounder, Academy Award winner Richard Taylor, is on Magic Leap’s board of directors.

“What Rony and the Magic Leap team have created is nothing short of remarkable and will forever change the way we interact with images and information,” he said. “We are now at the threshold of giving people a dynamic image interface that harmonizes with their senses in a completely natural way. As a storyteller and as a person that loves creating and sharing imaginative worlds, it’s a very exciting time. The Magic Leap team has created something truly game changing. It is like a rocket ship for the mind.”

We will have to wait a little longer until this rocket ship of the mind takes off, but a $50 million investment should help.

VentureBeat reached out to Magic Leap for more specific information and is still awaiting comment.

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