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A Real-World Look at Magic Leap’s Augmented Reality

With backing from Google, Andreessen Horowitz, Qualcom and movie studio Legendary Entertainment — and an on-staff Chief Futurist in the form of science-fiction author Neal Stephenson — the somewhat mysterious Magic Leap is one of the most fascinating tech start-ups around. For the vision — not virtual reality but augmented reality — the company is going for, check out their startling home-page. For the current reality, check out the video above, which is a real-world demo of some galaxy clusters hovering over an ordinary workspace.

For an explanation of why this simple video is more impressive than the rigged concept video Magic Leap posted several months ago (and embedded below), check out this post at Motiongrapher by Justin Cone. Rack-focus, real-time occlusion and true opacity are three things Cone says Magic Leap has achieved here that are worthy of note. For example, from Cone:

The opening shot starts on an office plant with a shallow depth of field. But as the camera pans up, the focus shifts to the character floating in the mid-ground. This might not seem like a big deal, but to pull this off in real time suggests that Magic Leap is not only capable of understanding depth but also of matching the user’s focus. If true, that would be a huge breakthrough by itself.

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