Magic Leap, the augmented reality glasses startup company that received an investment from Google worth $542 million, released a video that provided a glimpse into the technology that it is working on.
Titled "Just another day in the office of Magic Leap," the video starts with an office worker opening a video on YouTube then placing the screen above his desk while he reads through his e-mail. With the inbox appearing in front of him as a hologram, the user then scrolls through several holographic folders using some hand gestures.
The user taps on an icon for a video game named Victory, which instantly places the user in a virtual reality game environment. The user then walks over to a nearby table to pick up a real toy gun. Holograms and data appear above each of the blasters on the table. The player uses the toy gun that he picked up to shoot at an invading army of virtual reality robots, along with a digital laser cannon that the user summoned.
A massive tank crashes through the wall before the video fades to white, concluding with the logos of Magic Leap and the Weta Workshop, which is the special effects team for movies such as The Lord of the Rings.
Magic Leap was not able to attend the TED conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, cancelling its participation in the event without stating the reason.
"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," said Magic Leap in the description of the video.
The video, however, may not be exactly what the technology looks like right now. The involvement of Weta Workshop also signals that special effects were involved to increase the impact of the video.
The augmented reality system that Magic Leap is working on is one of the most secretive but also highly anticipated virtual reality glasses currently being developed. The system works by shining the images onto the wearer's retina, which creates the augmented reality environment that combines the digital and real worlds.
The technology that Magic Leap is working on will compete with the HoloLens holographic headset that Microsoft announced earlier in January, in addition to smart glasses that several companies are working on.
MIT Technology Review contributor Rachel Metz, who was able to try out a prototype of the company's technology, lauded the device, envisioning how it could make significant changes to technologies involving communications, travel, and several others. However, she noted the large size of the prototype. Magic Leap has not revealed how it is planning to reduce the device's size.