Here's what we know about Magic Leap. It's developing technology to put augmented reality images into the physical world. It's backed by Google. And, if the above video posted to YouTube is anything to go by, a typical work day involves robot attacks.
That's the gist of "Just another day in the office at Magic Leap," a buzz-generating 95-second YouTube clip that could clue us into the kind of augmented reality project that Magic Leap is at work on. In the video, we get a user's eye view of the Magic Leap office, as someone sorts through icons for YouTube and Gmail. (Always make sure to incorporate the apps from your big backer in your teaser videos.)
A quick scroll through a rotating carousel of icons, and the user selects games. Soon, he's grabbing a real-world weapon and blasting away at virtual robots as they pop up from behind cubicle walls and burst through the ceiling. The battle ends when a boss robot crashes through the office wall and delivers a video-ending blast.
Based on the credits, Magic Leap worked on this YouTube clip with Weta Workshop, a New Zealand-based design and effects studio that makes the Dr. Grordbort rayguns used in the augmented reality shooter.
Magic Leap's video lands on YouTube just as the company was making headlines for shrinking from the public eye after securing $542 million in funding last fall. Recode reports that Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz was supposed to appear onstage at the TED Conference in Vancouver March 18 but pulled out of the event; a Reddit Ask Me Anything slated for this week with a Magic Leap developer was also scrapped.
It's unclear whether the YouTube video is an actual demo of Magic Leap's augmented reality product or just a stylized demo -- Internet chatter leaned toward the latter. But the video will certainly get people talking about Magic Leap, which is reportedly working on a lightweight wearable that projects images onto your eyes.
Magic Leap faces growing competition in the increasingly crowded VR and AR field. A year ago, Facebook bought virtual reality headset maker Oculus for $2 billion. Since Magic Leap made its splash last fall, Microsoft has shown off HoloLens, a wearable holographic computer that will let you do everything from walk on mars to play Minecraft in your living room. Even Apple is reportedly dabbling in virtual reality, getting a patent in February for an iPhone-powered head-mounted display even as it looks to hire app developers with virtual reality expertise.
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