Is Magic Leap the Theranos of augmented reality?

Augmented reality startup Magic Leap was founded in 2014. It demonstrated a new kind of technology called "light field signal generation" that promised to be far superior to existing augmented reality and virtual reality technology. It received $2.6 billion in funding from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, and Google.

In 2018 Magic Leap released a headset called the Magic Leap One, which almost everyone was disappointed with. The problem with it, according to this Tech Crunch article is that Magic Leap pulled a bait-and-switch. It did not use light field signal generation. It used  the same kind of technology found in other augmented reality headsets released by Microsoft and others years earlier.

It appears Magic Leap was unable to sufficiently miniaturize the groundbreaking technology. From Tech Crunch:

As The Information’s Reed Albergotti revealed more than three years ago, “The Beast” was Magic Leap’s original demo box. It was everything people said. It was stunning, dreamlike, breakthrough technology. And it weighed “several hundred pounds.”

“The Beast” was followed by “The Cheesehead,” which fit on a human head, and “showed they could miniaturize the light field signal generator they’d invented” … but still weighed “tens of pounds,” obviously far too heavy for any real-world applications. (There are pictures of both in the linked CNET piece.)

“The Beast” and “The Cheesehead” help explain the multiple rounds of massive venture investment. But then — could Magic Leap miniaturize their breakthrough technology further, to anything actually releasable?

Clearly they could not, and that’s the crux of the matter, the answer to how and why Magic Leap raised $2.6

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Drivers headed to Atlantic City get stranded when a glitchy Waze ad sends them to the wilderness

If you're on a road trip Wazing it to Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, you might want to double check your directions. When people click on an orange logo for the resort in an ad on the Waze app, a glitch is sending people onto unpaved roads in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens wilderness, 45 miles away from the casino. And many drivers have needed help after becoming stranded.

According to The Washington Post:

Jackson Township police posted on Facebook that officers in recent weeks have had to help motorists who followed the directions into the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area, where they became stuck on unpaved roads.

“The wildlife area is comprised of more than 12,000 acres, mainly located in Jackson and Plumsted townships, which is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) away from the actual Borgata Casino in Atlantic City,” police said...

The address on the ad is correct, police said, but the location pinned with the ad is actually in the Colliers Mills wildlife area, police said.

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Chinese zoo-goers bamboozled into seeing inflatable penguins

Yulin residents in China’s Guangxi province were said to be excited last weekend about going to the city’s first zoo, which was advertised as having “rare” animals. Instead, attendees discovered blow-up penguins in areas that should have been designated for authentic flightless birds, according to the South China Morning Post.

Guishan Zoo, which has since been closed, also included breathing monkeys, geese, roosters and turtles.

For an admission costing approximately $2.25, inflatable penguins probably should have been expected.

Via the South China Morning Post:

It also claimed to host educational programmes about nature and wild animals.

Posters promoting the attraction also promised a “special display” at weekends on a poster that featured images of penguins, an ostrich and peacocks...

The unnamed owner told the Nanguo Morning Post it had been set up by a contractor and she did not know there would be inflatable animals until the day they went on display.

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