Magic Leap Announces Selections for First Round of Independent Creator Program
Magic Leap launched its Independent Creator Program last year and it has just announced selections of grantees for the first round of the program. More 6500 developer entries were reviewed and the company whittled it down to 31 projects covering an array of categories such as gaming, enterprise, entertainment and education among others.
The Magic Leap Independent Creator Program is a development fund into which the augmented reality startup has invested funds to help developers kick-start their Magic Leap app development projects. The fund targets app developers working on a host of development projects in areas such as productivity, gaming, entertainment and collaboration among others. The fund will disperse between $20,000 and $500,000 for every project while also providing the creators with developer, marketing and hardware support.
The list of the selected applicants was published in a Magic Leap blog post last week. The tech firm has stated that the list is not yet exhaustive because some of the grant recipients prefer to remain anonymous for the time being and will only come out publicly at a later date to reveal the details of their projects.
Here is an overview of the first round grant recipients that have been selected. Some of the selected studios have been well established for quite some time in both the consumer VR space and the AR industry which has been picking up the pace lately.
Developers selected under the gaming niche include Funkatronic Labs, Overlay, Resolution Games, Metanaut, ONTOP and Monocle Society.
Funkatronics is best known for a popular virtual reality real-time strategy game Cosmic Trip which was released in 2017. It was also behind the fascinating and complex virtual reality game Starbear: Taxi released in 2018.
The other grantee, Resolution Games, is best known for building the Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs (2019) for virtual reality headsets. It also developed the Magic Leap One title Angry Birds FPS: First Person Slingshot (2018).
Metanaut studio was behind the development of virtual reality puzzle game Gadgeteer (2019) and will now be introducing this game in Magic Leap One.
The entertainment industry is one of the most direct and popular applications for AR and VR technologies. Grantees in this category include Aesthetic Interactive, Within and Felix & Paul Studios.
Felix & Paul Studios has mainly concentrated in the creation of stereoscopic 360 films but is currently venturing into the VR terrain, a welcoming change for the tech firm. Some of its more famous stereoscopic films include Travelling While Black and Marshall from Detroit which were entrants at the recent Sundance 2019. The studio also produced a 2017 Daytime Emmy Award-winning 360 documentary called the People’s House: Inside the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama among many others.
The studio also hosts various high profile productions created in collaboration with partners such as Vice Media, Apple, The New York Times and NBC. It has also done various musical pieces such as Annapurna Pictures and U2 among others. The studio also worked with Wonderscope, a kid-focused augmented reality smartphone app. However, it’s its collaboration with Magic Leap One that has propelled its AR projects to a whole new level.
Various enterprise-focused creators have also been selected for Magic Leap One’s first round of Independent Creator Program such as Spatial that was featured in the Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 reveal. The company will now be making cross-platform iteration for Magic Leap One.
The selected entrants will be paired with the Magic Leap’s Developer Relations team who will provide guidance and support moving forward. Once these teams have completed, submitted and launched their AR projects, the best of these experiences will be selected and exhibited at the L.E.A.P Conference 2019. The selected teams will also get dedicated marketing support from Magic Leap which will include planning, promotion, and dedicated marketing support along with social media promotion. Magic Leap’s Developer Relations team will be constituted from its subject matter experts and QA testers tasked with providing developers with one-on-one support and guidance on their app projects.
The table below provides a list of the grantees in the disparate categories:-
|ANIMA RES||Funktronik Labs||BadVR, Inc|
|Giant Army||Metanaut||Future Sight AR|
|Kubold||Monocle Society||Taqtile, Inc|
|ENTERTAINMENT||RETAIL & COMMERCE||CREATOR TOOLS|
|Felix & Paul Studios||roOomy||MINSAR|
|COLLABORATION||ARCHITECTURE & CONSTRUCTION||DATA VISUALIZATION|
|WORKPLACE TRAINING||DOCUMENTARY||HEALTH & WELLNESS|
|Edge Lab||Atlas V||Magic Lines|
While this highlights a small section of the grantees, it ‘s clear Magic Leap is aiming at leveraging on high-quality content and tool creators that will help the company in quickly filling up its skeletal but fast growing “Magic Leap World” app store.
The company is concentrating the bulk of its efforts on gaming and entertainment AR apps, an indication that the company is thinking about a future consumer-focused Magic Leap augmented reality headset that will be targeting this market niche.
The submissions during this round of selections were of such a high quality that on top of the selected grantees under its Independent Creator Program, Magic Leap also decided to award $2300 to 200 other with Magic Leap headsets, a token that it hopes might justify the development cost for these small studios.
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