Magic Leap Details Grant Program For Indie App Developers

by VentureBeat • November 16th, 2018

Magic Leap outed its Magic Leap One Creator Edition augmented reality glasses in a big way last month at its Magic Leap L.E.A.P. conference in Los Angeles, and today the company is announcing details of its independent creator funding program.

Rio Caraeff, chief content officer at Plantation, Florida-based Magic Leap, said in an interview with GamesBeat that the global Magic Leap Independent Creator Program will focus on independent developers who head teams that are less than 10 or 20 people.

These individual creators can apply for project grants ranging in size from $20,000 to $500,000 per team during the next 30 days. Magic Leap will screen the applications and decide how much to give in terms of hardware, financial support, marketing, or development and engineering assistance.

Rio Caraeff is chief content officer at Magic Leap.

Above: Rio Caraeff is chief content officer at Magic Leap.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

“We are not asking for any exclusivity at all,” Caraeff said, echoing the theme that the company wants its platform to be diverse and open. “The only obligation is that they ship something to the Magic Leap World Store within a certain time frame.”

Caraeff said he is not saying an exact number for how much the company will spend overall on the program. When pressed, he said it will be more than eight figures, or more than $10 million, on the cash contribution part of the program itself. That doesn’t include the other in-kind contributions.

Developers have to articulate their pitch for an app that makes use of the uniqueness of the Magic Leap glasses, which can overlay digital animations and imagery on top of the real world.

Mica is a digital human demo for the Magic Leap One.

Above: Mica is a digital human demo for the Magic Leap One.

Image Credit: Magic Leap

“The criteria for being selected varies,” Caraeff said. “It’s about those ideas that emphasize what is unique about the platform. Factors will include originality, diversity, make up of the team, different industries and categories. We’d love to see game ideas but it’s about everything.”

An internal review team will look at the pitches and decide. The first deadline is December 15, but Caraeff said they will hold subsequent “classes” for developers who aren’t in the first batch of approved projects.

Sennheiser and Magic Leap One

Above: Sennheiser and Magic Leap One

Image Credit: Sennheiser

Magic Leap needs the creativity of small developers and lone creators to come up with the new ways of using spatial computing that the bigger companies might never dream about.

He said that games would be important to the platform, as they are on every successful new technology. Magic Leap created demos like the digital human, MICA, to inspire developers to shoot high. But it also wants to take in the feedback and designs that those developers can offer.

This post by Dean Takahashi originally appeared on VentureBeat. 

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