Magic Leap, a forthcoming “augmented reality” technology that promises to be a real game-changer, has been making quite a stir over the past few months, despite the fact that actual hardware (or any specs, or cost, or release date) has yet to be revealed. Investors like Google, Qualcomm, Legendary Entertainment and Andreessen Horowitz have already funded the project to the tune of over $500 million, but since that time, only bits and pieces of information have leaked out about it – and a new video leaves even more questions as to what can be expected from it.
Re/code has noted some instances surrounding what’s going on with Magic Leap. One such occurrence involved CEO Rony Abovitz, who insisted via Reddit that the technology would be good enough to not only act as a replacement to smartphones, but also all types of digital screens. However, before he was able to explain how this technology would take shape at a TED conference in Vancouver, Abovitz abruptly cancelled the appearance, with no given reason.
The questions continued to arise today with the arrival of this tech video, included below. Titled Victory, the tech demo features a player using high-tech weaponry to face off against robotic enemies from a first-person perspective. Aside from gaming, the video also shows some common applications using an augmented reality interface. There’s no doubt that the demo has some impressive visuals, and does manage to show augmented reality in a whole new light, but there’s a small problem – it may be too good to be true.
As you can see in the video, framed above, there’s a clear watermark for WETA Workshop, the special effects studio that previously worked on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. That makes the video come across more as a simulation of what the hardware can do, rather than a demonstration of the hardware itself. Re/code attempted to reach out to the company to clarify if it was a real demo, with no response.
On top of that, the company’s patent application illustrations appear to be based more on science fiction-oriented concept art rather than something created in-house by the team, as reported in this link by Gizmodo.
With multiple millions invested by high-end partners, there’s no question that Magic Leap has a lot on the line when it comes to living up to promises. And if the final hardware can produce similar results to what’s seen in the video above, then it’ll certainly be a game-changer. For now, though, the company’s “mum’s the word” approach seems to leave people wondering just what’s going to happen with Magic Leap – and the sooner those answers can emerge, the better.