Google-backed Magic Leap has uploaded a fresh demo of its head-mounted VR (technically AR) on YouTube, and gives us hope that Microsoft’s HoloLens won’t have the augmented reality market all to itself.
In the video, we see the wearer opening a number of notifications; a list of which appears in a floating graphic in the room. These notifications include a collection of holographic charts, as well as an impressive 3D project ‘sent’ by the wearer’s daughter. We also see an interesting shopping interface, where the shoe appears in 3D 360-degree view, before ending with a shoal of jellyfish, complete with the illusion of perspective.
It seems that — like HoloLens — Magic Leap uses sensors to be detect and calculate its surroundings and can place objects at various distances, and even have them sitting on top of surfaces.
Most impressive however is that in the video below, everything you see was shot directly through Magic Leap technology. There are no special effects or compositing added post-shot in an edit suite (except for the text at the bottom of the screen explaining that there are no post-added special effects or compositing).
There are a couple of things worth noting here. Firstly, the tasks undertaken in the Magic Leap demo are mostly productivity-oriented, suggesting this is seen mostly as an interface for viewing communication, projects, documents, emails and such. In many ways, it’s a more immersive and feature-rich version of what Google Glass offered, rather than a competitor to the likes of HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
While Magic Leap isn’t directly under Google’s control, it is an element of the bigger picture that shows Google is clearly very interested in the whole Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality scene. Just recently, VR hints were shown to be baked in to Android N, while the company continues to add 360-degree and VR optimized content to services like YouTube and Maps.