Skip to main content

Magic Leap Shows Off Mind-Blowing Augmented Reality

Here's what we know about Magic Leap. It's developing technology to put augmented reality images into the physical world. It's backed by Google. And, if the above video posted to YouTube is anything to go by, a typical work day involves robot attacks.

That's the gist of "Just another day in the office at Magic Leap," a buzz-generating 95-second YouTube clip that could clue us into the kind of augmented reality project that Magic Leap is at work on. In the video, we get a user's eye view of the Magic Leap office, as someone sorts through icons for YouTube and Gmail. (Always make sure to incorporate the apps from your big backer in your teaser videos.)

MORE: VR Headset Mega Guide: Features and Release Dates

A quick scroll through a rotating carousel of icons, and the user selects games. Soon, he's grabbing a real-world weapon and blasting away at virtual robots as they pop up from behind cubicle walls and burst through the ceiling. The battle ends when a boss robot crashes through the office wall and delivers a video-ending blast.

Based on the credits, Magic Leap worked on this YouTube clip with Weta Workshop, a New Zealand-based design and effects studio that makes the Dr. Grordbort rayguns used in the augmented reality shooter.

Magic Leap's video lands on YouTube just as the company was making headlines for shrinking from the public eye after securing $542 million in funding last fall. Recode reports that Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz was supposed to appear onstage at the TED Conference in Vancouver yesterday (March 18) but pulled out of the event; a Reddit Ask Me Anything slated for this week with a Magic Leap developer was also scrapped.

It's unclear whether the YouTube video is an actual demo of Magic Leap's augmented reality product or just a stylized demo -- Internet chatter leaned toward the latter. But the video will certainly get people talking about Magic Leap, which is reportedly working on a lightweight wearable that projects images onto your eyes.

Magic Leap faces growing competition in the increasingly crowded VR and AR field. A year ago, Facebook bought virtual reality headset maker Oculus for $2 billion. Since Magic Leap made its splash last fall, Microsoft has shown off HoloLens, a wearable holographic computer that will let you do everything from walk on mars to play Minecraft in your living room. Even Apple is reportedly dabbling in virtual reality, getting a patent in February for an iPhone-powered head-mounted display even as it looks to hire app developers with virtual reality expertise.

Follow Philip Michaels @PhilipMichaels. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • warmageth
    Why give the world this video but not explain anything about it?
    Reply
  • wysiwygbill
    It probably shouldn't be legal to do that while driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery. :-p
    Reply
  • RCguitarist
    Thats a great movie and all, but will never happen. For example, the person in the video is obviously physically handling the weapon. And how would he feel recoil if what he was holding wasn't physically there? Lastly how would the program know that an object it was placing on the table wasn't going to clip through some small objects on the table. Great video editing and CG though.
    Reply
  • Avus
    Stage video is staged....
    Reply
  • PhilipMichaels
    Why give the world this video but not explain anything about it?

    I imagine they were going to show it with more context at the TED conference, and then when they had to pull out, they figured a teaser video was better than nothing. But that's just speculation on my part.
    Reply
  • PhilipMichaels
    For example, the person in the video is obviously physically handling the weapon. And how would he feel recoil if what he was holding wasn't physically there?

    Yes, the weapon is physically there -- my guess is it acts like a game controller, and that force feedback is involved somehow.
    Reply
  • alidan
    Thats a great movie and all, but will never happen. For example, the person in the video is obviously physically handling the weapon. And how would he feel recoil if what he was holding wasn't physically there? Lastly how would the program know that an object it was placing on the table wasn't going to clip through some small objects on the table. Great video editing and CG though.
    For example, the person in the video is obviously physically handling the weapon. And how would he feel recoil if what he was holding wasn't physically there?

    Yes, the weapon is physically there -- my guess is it acts like a game controller, and that force feedback is involved somehow.

    some, but he is playing it up/they edited the recoil in, remember this is weta, its basicly what they do.

    --------

    as for the vr... of this quality, you would be looking at around a 4k screen per eye we are so far away from this its depressing to think that by the time it comes out i cant enjoy it like i would now... but we do have good vr coming soon.

    oh... before anyone asks, to drop things into real life like this, it requires a far higher res screen than vr does, which is why a single 1080p is ok for vr whereas 2 full 4k would be pushing it for ar.
    Reply
  • agnickolov
    IIRC WETA made the CGI effects in the Lord of the Rings trilogy...
    Reply
  • new2this4sure2
    Anyone have an idea where I can get the sound credits... would love to get the whole track from the opening score?
    Reply