Now that we've had a few days to recover from the VR geek versus augmented reality nerd battle between Oculus founder Palmer Luckey and Magic Leap founder Rony Abovitz, we can get back to taking a closer look at the Magic Leap One. This time, we take a very brief dip into the Abductor app.
But calm down, Abductor is not meant to be a full-fledged game. Instead, it's merely a demo game to show developers what's possible when developing apps and games for the Magic Leap One. Specifically, the sample is designed to show off how meshing works during the World Reconstruction mode after the Magic Leap One scans the user's play area.
Once the player has established the mesh, the UFO (in this game instance, your role is as the alien abductor) "does several raycasts [surface intersection tests] against the world mesh in order to maintain altitude, detect targets, [and] project a reticle decal/texture," according to Magic Leap's description.
That's when the fun begins, and you can then use the controller to navigate the UFO over the hapless "Spacekitties" that can be dragged up into your flying saucer using a tractor beam you activate by pulling the controller's trigger. The blue-green WorldMesh can be toggled on or off with a simple press of the controller's front-facing bumper button.
You steer the UFO by using the trackpad on the top of the controller, and you gauge abduction readiness by using the aforementioned gunsight-style reticle shape that projects down from the bottom of the UFO.
The developer documentation states, "A simple gesture interface has been implemented which provides insight into enabling specific gestures and tuning confidence values. By performing a Left Handed 'OK' gesture, the user can spawn in Spacekitties."
However, I was unable to get this gesture feature to work, even after many attempts. This difficulty in attempting to use gestures was similar to my experience using Tónandi, an app in which gestures worked, but only after a lot of trying. Again, this isn't a comment on Abductor as an app (remember, it's just a sample), but more commenting on the practical use of gestures on the Magic Leap One at this point.
Aside from serving as a guidepost for developers, I think this app also works as a quick and dirty way to show those who are new to the Magic Leap One what it's capable of (without going through the sometimes time consuming set up process found in apps like Create).
Those who are members of Magic Leap's Creator Portal may have examined Abductor months ago, but for the rest of the world, this is yet another peek into the world of the Magic Leap One.
If you believe the estimates, there may be as few as 3,000 Magic Leap One devices out in the wild (Magic Leap has yet to release sales numbers). But one thing some critics seem to gloss over when talking about the device is this: even if you consider the Magic Leap One just an incremental improvement over previous head-worn AR devices, it's hard to deny that this is the best wearable AR device on the market…for now.