Found in 2010, Magic Leap has always said they will be the one to do Augmented Reality right, and has been teasing their ground-breaking mixed reality technology for at least 3 years now, raising $1.8 billion in the process, but has never publicly shown off their headset.
There have been multiple rumours that the company was having difficulty delivering on that promise, with reports that they were having difficulty miniaturizing their hardware and that their prototype was unwieldy, blurrier and more jittery that Microsoft’s HoloLens, and that their amazing demo video above was faked.
They also had some significant departures, including Brian Wallace, their top marketing executive.
That may explain the company’s latest marketing move, which is to delete much of their current web presence and to replace it with a byzantine collection of easter eggs which is teasing something.
We will let Gizmodo’s Rhett Jones take it from here:
Here’s how the Easter eggs break down: After the site change, some Redditors started sleuthing and found that its 404 page had a blinking light bulb that appears to be sending a message in Morse code. When decoded, the message seems to spell out “KEYWORD.”
In the few remarks that Abovitz made at TED, he presented “phydre” as “today’s ancient and magical keyword.” This word has some sort of astrological association with Uranus and a phonetic association with the Greek word for fudge. Get it? Fudge in Uranus. But let’s not get distracted. When you type “phydre” while you have the 404 page open, you get this message:
00110000 00110011 01101000 00100000 00110000 00110010 01101101 00100000 00110001 00110110 00101110 00110111 00110111 00110011 00110000 00110111 01110011 0001010 00101011 00110000 00110100 10110000 00100000 00110000 00110101 10000000110010 00100000 00110010 00110011 00101110 00110000 00110101 00111001 00110110 10000000110011 🙂
Converting those numbers from binary to text outputs these coordinates: “03h 02m 16.77307s +04° 05? 23.0596.”
A quick search for those coordinates brings up the Wikipedia page for Alpha Ceti, the second-largest star in the constellation Cetus, which is also known as “the whale.”
And that’s it. That’s what we know. But here’s where we have to use our interpretive powers. In northern latitudes, the best time to see Alpha Ceti is reportedly at around 9pm close to the December winter solstice. So, take all the references to the TED talk, add in the whale symbolism that is closely associated with Magic Leap, tack on an approximate time, and it’s possible that the company is signaling a presentation is coming in December.
There are also a couple other references to whales. Going to this URL with the binary for “whale” gives you a media player with whale sounds, and typing the Konami code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a) on the homepage plays the same whale audio.
So, going down the rabbit hole, either Magic Leap is set to deliver the most amazing augmented reality headset ever sometime in December, or the $6 billion company’s CEO Rony Abovitz is really an alien from outer space. Or both of course, which would actually explain a lot.
Given the difficulty Microsoft is having in bringing HoloLens to the mass market, do our readers think Magic Leap will surprise us this holiday season? Let us know below.