Move over Jean Grey, there's a new telekinetic power in town -- well, at least during SXSW 2017.
As I explored the booths on the show floor, I happened across the Hakuhodo booth. I was going to walk by until I saw someone blow up a foam Jenga tower with a single hand gesture. I stopped long enough for one of the booth attendants to ask if I wanted to try my hand at being psychic. Naturally, I couldn't say no.
This technological wizardry titled Invisible Force, is the work of HACKist, the research and development arm of Japanese interactive production company Hakuhodo i-studio. Using a Microsoft Hololens and a set of proprietary sensors built into a funky-looking bracelet, Invisible Force is a mixed reality prototype that combines the digital and physical worlds together for a semi-destructive start.
After securing both Hololens and the bracelet securely to my person, it was time to test my new telekinetic powers. Looking through the Hololens visor, the Jenga tower was surrounded in an aura of blue. From there, I brought the arm wearing the bracelet upward with my hand in a closed fist for a few seconds. That caused the forcefield to turn from blue to yellow, signaling it was time to fire.
It took three shots to destroy the aura, which left my intended target exposed. For my last shot, I made sure the shot was good and charged, holding it for about 8 seconds. When I released, the foam Jenga tower was shattered into a satisfying oblivion.
Since it's a prototype, HACKist representatives weren't very forthcoming on the tech behind the magic. However, if this is a peek into what mixed reality has to offer, sign me up.