The oil conglomerate, Saudi Aramco, has signed a new partnership deal with Magic Leap, the US-based augmented reality startup backed by the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund (PIF).
Peggy Johnson, CEO of Magic Leap, spoke at the Future Investment Initiative (FII), the two-day event taking place this week in Riyadh, about the collaboration. She said, “We just announced a partnership with Saudi Aramco to work with them on using the technology for remote collaboration and 3D visualization.”
“It’s very hard to build augmented reality; it’s not virtual reality. You’re actually placing digital content in the physical space around you,” she added.
Magic Leap’s technology has established its usefulness in a variety of sectors, such as manufacturing and health, during the pandemic. Johnson stated the example of a recent case in California wherein the surgeons were trained for a separation procedure for conjoined twins using their device.
Not a lot of details about the partnership have been disclosed but it is no hidden fact that Magic Leap has strong Saudi links. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced in 2018 that it was a part of Series D equity funding in the company, with the investment valued at $400 million.
Johnson has recently shifted to the company from Microsoft during the pandemic. She also spoke about her career shift and how COVID-19 travel restrictions forced her to be introduced to and work with most of her colleagues virtually.
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