Magic Leap Turning to Blockchain Ecosystem for User Data

Magic Leap has posted job listings for a senior blockchain architect tasked with “overarching responsibility for planning and execution of a portfolio of blockchain, smart contracts and Ricardian contract technologies,” as well as helping to “develop an overall blockchain ecosystem engagement strategy.” The company also advertised positions for several blockchain engineers. The job listings stated that Magic Leap plans to use blockchain for its “Lifestream business function,” referring to its planned archive of user data.

Variety reports that Magic Leap chief executive Rony Abovitz described Lifestream as “all the data that you experience and the data of the world around you.” “One of our commitments as a company is to provide the tools and security, and really make it a distributed thing,” said Abovitz, who didn’t specifically name blockchain technology. “The users should really gain as much control as they need and want. It should be a data set that they have, not a data set that is centralized.”

Although Magic Leap’s augmented reality headset currently is for indoor uses, the company hopes to “enable users to access city-wide AR data layers, and in turn also capture user data at a much more massive scale.” The recent job postings, says Variety, “suggest that the company is also looking at this as an opportunity to market itself to the enterprise,” since some AR-captured data will “include not only location data, but also detailed floor plans of offices, factories, and maybe even movie sets.”

Magic Leap attempted to enter the enterprise market when it bid to supply headsets to the U.S. Army, but Microsoft — which has focused on enterprise for HoloLens since it debuted in 2016 — won that contract. The focus on enterprise is not surprising given that AR headsets are still too expensive for most consumers. Nonetheless, Microsoft has also made some noise about ultimately marketing HoloLens to consumers.