Correction: This story originally said that Magic Leap’s headset is not transparent, but that is not accurate. We’ve updated the story to omit that. I apologize for the error.
The thing about virtual and augmented reality is that we’ll probably get the hardware before the software experiences are ready to exploit it. But one of the companies leading in this space just made a hire to do something about this problem.
Magic Leap, which is working on an augmented-reality device, has just hired Rio Caraeff as its chief content officer. Caraeff comes to Magic Leap by way of music-video website Vevo, where he acted as president and chief executive officer. In the role of CCO, which the company only just created, Caraeff will oversee everything pertaining to Magic Leap-compatible content. This includes the internal development as well as business relationships with outside companies. With analysts predicting that the augmented and virtual reality markets will generate as much as $150 billion by 2020, these kinds of early investments in content could pay off in a big way in just a few years.
In addition to founding Vevo, which is one of the top destinations for music on the web, Caraeff has more than 20 years of experience working in the content industry. He worked at Universal Music Group, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and more. This experience makes him well suited to a content-creation role.
In a statement, Caraeff explained that his “head exploded” when he first tried the Magic Leap. The device, which you wear over your face, enables you to see digitally projected images mixed with the real world around you. It is similar to Microsoft’s HoloLens, except Magic Leap has a wider field of view.
But like HoloLens or even the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, Magic Leap will work best with content built specifically for its capabilities. And that’s exactly what Caraeff is now in charge of producing.
“Building out the network of services, applications and content experiences to bring some magic into the world is the mission, and I could not be more thrilled to join,” he said.
Magic Leap is charging forward toward a consumer product — although it hasn’t announced a release date or even shown off final hardware. The company has raised more than half of a billion dollars from investors like Google, Qualcomm, and Andreessen Horowitz. With that kinda cheddar, it can afford to put someone like Caraeff to work building out a network of content and creators.