Anki Vector Robot meets Magic Leap
These are two exponential technologies that have surprised me recently.
The $2.3 Billion startup that has taken four years to get its first product out the door has blown me away. I’m on the board of an Extended Reality startup, Phoria, so have seen multiple iterations of these technologies, from Google Glass through Oculus, Microsoft Hololens to the gold standard of VR, the HTC Vive. They’re all incredible tech, and effective in industry verticals like Real Estate, Training, Design Engineering, etc but fail to compellingly answer the consumer question:
”What is it for? What can it do 10X better than I can do right now?”
Without solving this, behaviour does not change.
Then they launched the Magic Leap on 8/8/18. Based on reviews by journalists who tried the Magic Leap, I expected a slightly larger viewport Microsoft Hololens.
I was so wrong.
Image, if you will, a computer slightly bigger than a mobile phone clipped to your belt and a light, comfortable headset. And a small mouse sized controller. That’s it.
No cables, no pc, no phone.
Absolute freedom. Touching and engaging with the AR rendered world using your hands. Mapping a large room in real time. This is the future. We have LEAPt across the chasm.
I love the idea of robots being useful and how frustratingly challenging this is to get right. I bought the HEXA, as 6-legged, Programmable, Highly Maneuverable Robot a few months ago and, although technically smart, it’s basically a radio control car with 6 legs. Sure, it’s programmable, but the community is tiny, and the sensors are few. Disappointed.
Enter Vector. “a robot sidekick for your home”.
They nailed it. This little guy roams around the desk, recognises you, gets excited when you’re around, throws tantrums, is not 100% controllable and has oodles of personality. Just the right amount of sensors and awareness and randomness. I love the evolution of this tech and how ANKI now have a crowdsourced platform of thousands of robots to learn from and the same number of humans to practice on. CEO and co-founder of Anki, Boris Sofman sums it up here on this a16z Podcast.
Anki Vector Meets Magic Leap
What happens when you put a little smart robot in an Augmented Reality world generated by Magic Leap?
and this is what it looks like in the current / “real” world
Magic Leap has started the exponential curve of mass adoption of useful, unobtrusive Extended Reality. ETA 2020
Vector has started the exponential curve of mass adoption for a smart, useful robot. ETA 2022