In the tech world, one of the big things everybody is excited about right now is augmented reality. Magic Leap, a startup out of Florida, captured the collective imagination of the tech world when they had a rockstar fundraising round, even managing to garner an investment from Google. The mystery factor didn't ease up much when the company's founder, Rony Abovitz, revealed that the company is looking to bring on 10 outside developers to get a feel for their product and begin creating for it. So far, the one thing everybody can agree on is that Magic Leap is an augmented reality company. That simple fact, however, does not seem to be the whole truth, according to a recent lawsuit.
A lawsuit brought by Magic Leap against former senior vice president Gary Bradski, along with employee Adrian Kaehler, alleges that the pair used proprietary Magic Leap technology, along with Bradski's extensive history in robotics and artificial intelligence, to begin working on their own company while still employed at Magic Leap. While that alone isn't quite enough to confirm that Magic Leap may have something distinctly robotic in the works, a quote from the suit says that Bradski “was aware of and involved in projects and plans that involved deep-learning techniques for robotics.”
While a spokesperson for Magic Leap kept their lips sealed when MIT reached out to find out what Magic Leap may be doing in the space, given their current tech and the nature of things currently out there in the robotics and A.I. spaces, some basic inferences could be made. While the easy assumption would be that Magic Leap is working on the technology under contract for a robotics developer, the possibilities here actually run quite deep. Magic Leap could be going as far as using their augmented reality tech alongside a complex robot A.I. to create the brains for an autonomous robot. While the irony of the company that makes Android backing a company that makes A.I. for androids is lost on absolutely nobody, that's far from the only possibility. Medical robotics, companion bots like Softbank's Pepper and, of course, integrating incredibly realistic virtual robots into their A.R. products are all possibilities. As for the lawsuit, not much information has managed to leak out.