Karl Guttag (KGOnTech) on the Misplaced Expectations of Magic Leap and the Challenge of Consumer-Grade Smartglasses (Part 3)

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The Conversation

This is the third and final part of my conversation with Karl Guttag. Karl writes a popular technology blog at kguttag.com where he dissects optics and display systems, including the efforts of Magic Leap.  (For more on Karl’s background, the history of early computing, and a deep dive in micro display technology, check out the previous two episodes.)

In this conversation, Karl talks about how hard it is to create compact, Ray-Ban-inspired smartglasses, especially at an affordable price. Karl describes the micro LED microdisplay as a missing, but necessary, ingredient for smartglasses - similar to the importance of transistors to computers. While we had vacuum tubes, they weren’t good enough to deliver computers on every desk or in every pocket. We needed the innovation of transistors to make that transition,  just as we need micro LED microdisplays and better combiner optics for smartglasses today.

Karl deconstructs the recent sneak peek of Magic Leap’s smartglasses and shares some choice words about their efforts. He also laments the plight of honest engineers looking to raise money to build real products.

We keep it relatively high level in this one, and I think this is an insightful and entertaining episode that you’re going to love.

The Request

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