Google’s Magic Leap To Enable Cinematic Virtual Reality
We were aware of the Google’s investment on the startup “Magic Leap” since a long time, but had no idea why the company had just thrown a $540 million at the unknown startup. We do now… somewhat: thanks to a recent patent application which allowed us to connect the dots with the previous patent applications, Magic Leap seems to point towards a wearable display system that will allow a very realistic type of Virtual Reality (VR) called “cinematic reality.”
The patents from Magic Leap cover a lot of aspects, including the technology behind the product, and its result. Road To VR has decomposed the hardware patents nicely and in detail, and you can have a look into that here.
For the readers who are not too hardware savvy, the company is working on a lightweight wearable system which will combine sensors with a fiber-optic projection display that will actually create the illusion of 3D. This is done by the sensors detecting the object you are focusing on, and then layering two-dimensional images at the right depth.
You will be able to interact with the projections using a “tactile glove” to detect movements.
This technology is sort of similar to the 3DAround app in iPhones which generates 3D images by layering multiple images by extracting their depth.
In its latest patent filing, Magic Leap has given clues about what the mode of interaction would look like. Business Insider has compiled numerous images from the application, which show multiple uses for this type of augmented reality, including in-store advertising, productivity and interactive entertainment. One drawing, for example, shows a “friendly monster” in a store enticing a child to interact with brands.
From the images, you can mark Magic Leap as a combination of Google Glass, Oculus Rift and Heavy Rain‘s Added Reality Interface (ARI). In case you don’t remember, Heavy Rain was a 2010 video game, where FBI agent Norman Jayden was able to use a pair of VR sunglasses to augment his reality, by switching his monotonous surroundings with a beach or the surface of Mars, and used a glove to interact with the interface in front of him.
The vision laid out in patent filings suggests — if Magic Leap can follow through on its ideas — we’re close to seeing an even-more-advanced version of ARI become a reality.