Magic Leap’s Virtual Reality Game That Fills Your Office With Robots Sure Looks Amazing… If It’s Real
Dance magic dance. Leap magic leap.
This video from the “augmented reality” company Magic Leap purportedly shows a game they’ve been “playing around the office,” and whether it’s a concept video or something closer to reality, it sure looks like a lot of fun.
But many are certain this video is a complete fabrication. Despite recently securing $542 million in a Google-led round of funding and landing prominent Google employees on its board of directors, Magic Leap has yet to publicly show any actual technology for all its promises of a wearable headset that will seamlessly overlay digital images into the real world.
The video’s description states,
Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it to TED, but we wanted to share one of the things that we’d planned to share at the talk. This is a game we’re playing around the office right now (no robots were harmed in the making of this video).
And the reality of what’s shown is likely somewhere between a real game and complete nonsense. Microsoft’s HoloLens, which is definitely a real product the company is pushing to have ready as early as the end of 2015, already offers similar functionality, and the demo above for Magic Leap is relatively simple for as fun as it looks.
The player doesn’t do a lot of moving around, which means the headset could still be wired to a powerful computer at this point, and the placement of the CG robots involves minimal interaction with the environment to simplify things. The gun is very obviously a real prop which seems to be fired by making a recoiling motion of the hand. I wouldn’t be surprised if its effects were augmented to make the video more interesting, but it’s certainly possible with current technology to detect that motion.
Additionally, this MIT Technology Review article by Rachel Metz, who’s actually used the headset, seems to line up pretty well with what’s shown in the video and compares Magic Leap’s tech directly to Microsoft’s. Metz says, “3-D monsters and robots looked amazingly detailed and crisp, fitting in well with the surrounding world, though they were visible only with lenses attached to bulky hardware sitting on a cart, and no release date has yet been revealed.”
So while the video may be an idealistic, tech-demo version of what they’re working on at Magic Leap that takes care not to push the technology past its current limitations and reveal its seams, it’s definitely where virtual reality and augmented reality technology are going. And holy crap, I want to play it right now.