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The author of 'Snow Crash' is working for an augmented reality company

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Neal Stephenson's immersive swordfighting game might not have panned out, but that isn't deterring him from diving head-first into new technology ventures. The Snow Crash writer is now the Chief Futurist for Magic Leap, the secretive augmented reality startup that sparked a lot of buzz in October. He'll be finding ways to make practical use of the company's technology. He came onboard after the company bowled him over with a demo -- its "synthesized light field" can fool your brain into perceiving virtual depth without resorting to basic tricks like stereoscopy, he says.

As to where he sees Magic Leap going? Stephenson believes the tech will be useful for not just immersive games, but artists, educators and anyone else tired of 2D visuals. It'll be "possible to get up off the couch and move... wherever on the face of the earth the story might take you," he says. That's a bit hyperbolic for a company that has yet to unveil its centerpiece product, let alone ship it. Still, the partnership is appropriate -- Stephenson is best-known for his early portrayals of virtual worlds, so he might as well try to make them a practical reality.

[Image credit: Madeleine Ball, Flickr]

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