Media Power announced today a donation of $5M to the GVU research center at Georgia Tech – for the advancement of Mobile Augmented Reality (http://www.cc.gatech.edu/news/media-power-donates-5m-to-gvu-center).
It’s intriguing that Media Power’s founder is none other than the controvertial Carl Freer, the executive from Gizmondo – a mobile game device that went belly up “under a cloud” after demostrating huge potential in 2005. Although it made it to the #1 position of “The 10 Worst-Selling Handhelds of All Time” on gamepro it was pretty popular among mobile augmented reality research(Demo).
So now Carl will not only resurrect Gizmondo, but will also establish a new division – Magitech – “centered around the very promising field of Augmented Reality”.
The objective of the joint initiative between Magitech and Georgia Tech is to “envision, prototype and evaluate the next generation of mobile AR games and entertainment applications and positions the company as a leader in AR.”
This initiative looks promising mostly thanks to its ability to attract worldwide top talent in the field of augmented reality (many of them regular contributors to this blog – games alfresco):
Dr. Leonard Kleinrock (Professor, University of California at Los Angeles), Blair McIntyre (Professor, Georgia Tech), Mark Billinghurst (Professor, University of Canterbury), Daniel Wagner (Professor, University of Graz, Vienna), Dr. Michael Gervautz (CEO Imagination, Vienna)
Now, what would you do with $5M and that kind of caliber to advance augmented reality games?
A couple of months later Media Power made another major investment. This time the sum was $2.7M and the benefactor – Mark Billinghurst’s HIT Lab in New Zealand.