Google this morning confirmed that it is leading a whopping $542 million investment in Magic Leap Inc., a secretive augmented reality startup based in Florida that says it’s developing “the world’s next visual computing platform.”
Additional investors in the round include Qualcomm, Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital, KKR, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Andreessen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures, and others. Google’s Sundar Pichai, the senior vice president in charge of Chrome and Android, is among the executives who will join Magic Leap’s board.
It’s the latest bet by Google on the emerging world of augmented reality, where its Google Glass devices have served as early example. It’s also the latest sign of interest from big tech companies in the areas of augmented and virtual reality, following Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus.
Re/code, which broke the news of the investment, quotes sources saying Magic Leap’s plans include “a wearable device that will track users’ eyeballs and project images onto them.”
“We are excited and honored to have such an extraordinary group of investors to help us bring our vision and products to the world,” said MagicLeap CEO and founder Rony Abovitz, in the news release confirming the deal. “Magic Leap is going beyond the current perception of mobile computing, augmented reality, and virtual reality. We are transcending all three, and will revolutionize the way people communicate, purchase, learn, share and play.”