Magic Leap, the mysterious augmented reality company with no actual product, continues to self-destruct. A new lawsuit filed today in Southern Florida District Court accuses the company of creating a hostile workplace for women and of using misleading marketing materials to depict the product’s capabilities.
Founder and CEO of Magic Leap, Rony Abovitz (Image: Getty)
In the lawsuit, former vice president of marketing Tannen Campbell claims she was hired to help with “the pink/blue problem”, a slang term used to describe the company’s lack of female staff and executives.
Campbell also alleges in the lawsuit that she “had to endure sex discrimination” when she proposed ways to make the product more friendly to women as well as ways to make the workplace more diverse and inclusive. She claims she was fired because she challenged Magic Leap’s CEO Rony Abovitz to acknowledge the “depths of misogyny” in Magic Leap’s office culture.
The former executive also claims in the lawsuit that she “raised concerns that what Magic Leap showed the public in marketing material was not what the product could actually do”.
This particular accusation is especially alarming, given what has been reported about Magic Leap’s prototype. Founded in 2010, the company set out to develop an augmented reality headset that overlays digital images onto the real world. It raised $US1.4 billion ($1.8 billion) from top investors including Google and Alibaba, despite the fact that it never had a product for sale.
Last year, an article by The Information reported that the biggest challenge facing the company was its inability to shrink down its technology into a size feasible for a commercial product. Last week, Business Insider published an image of what is reportedly the first prototype, and it looked far from finished.
We reached out to Magic Leap for comment about the lawsuit and its product, but had not heard back at time of writing.