The team at Magic Leap just got a millennial-style boost with the announcement that financial news network Cheddar is coming to the Magic Leap One.
Cheddar CEO Jon Steinberg revealed the news in a surprise tweet early Tuesday morning.
Included in that tweet was a brief video from Magic Leap's YouTube channel that serves as a kind of commercial for what it will be like to watch Cheddar on the Magic Leap One.
The 45-second spot shows a single man in an apartment who goes to put on a vinyl record just before putting on his Magic Leap One and settling in for a bit of Cheddar news. Much like the Helio app, users can launch 2D panels of video content that can be situated around you in any area in your home.
Image by Magic Leap/YouTube
Speaking of using AR at home, it's worth highlight how Cheddar and Magic Leap show the device being used in the home. After the user puts the record on and watches Cheddar for a bit, he then walks over to another table, grabs a cup of coffee and begins sipping while continuing to watch. Then, he slides the device off his head and leaves it on the table as he heads outside.
I think a media company like us needs to have one long-term bet.
As someone who has used the device extensively, I can confirm that the video isn't unrealistic. You can indeed walk around your home while using it to access an app. And I've also sipped a cup of coffee while using the device. But the one thing I don't understand is why the commercial frames the device as a home-bound device instead of a mobile device that you can take with you to the office, or a local cafe.
Framing the Magic Leap One as a home device that should be left inside once you're done using it makes it seem like a possibly unnecessary addition to your existing home entertainment set up, and misses the opportunity to show off its portability.
The commercial also says the app is "now available in Magic Leap World," but when I checked (and made sure my device was updated), the Cheddar app did not appear.
But aside from the commercial, it's hard to understand why Cheddar, a network that fashions itself as CNBC or Bloomberg for the millennial generation, would promote the $2,300, developer-centric device to an audience that is generally cash-poor and thus leans toward adopting polished, ready-for-mainstream consumption devices. Perhaps that's the reason the ad positions the Magic Leap One next to an old school record player, thus emphasizing that its audience has alternative tastes in electronics. Or maybe it's just about looking cool, which is also a thing.
"In my three years running the company, I've always been focusing on generating revenue and getting carriage on big systems. I wanted to do one R&D project," Cheddar CEO Jon Steinberg told Axios regarding the Magic Leap One service. "I think a media company like us needs to have one long-term bet."
Image by Magic Leap/YouTube
Based on the Axios report, the root of this move by Cheddar probably lies in the fact that Magic Leap is licensing Cheddar's existing live video news, an arrangement that could boost Cheddar's bottom line and gives Magic Leap another way to demonstrate what's possible with the device.
The report also reveals that Cheddar is planning on building its own volumetric capture studio to facilitate the creation of more augmented reality content.
"A lot of other media companies can only see ahead to the next quarter," said Steinberg. "I'm trying to think a few years away."