News: Magic Leap Releases Helio Experiments Demos, Finally Gives Us the Infamous AR Whale

Magic Leap Releases Helio Experiments Demos, Finally Gives Us the Infamous AR Whale

You want whales? Ok, you'll get whales! That seems to be the unspoken message from Magic Leap via its latest update in the form of several new experiments posted inside its Helio app.

Years ago, Magic Leap stoked its early hype by showing off an image of a massive augmented reality whale splashing around in a large gym full of astonished onlookers. That early video made such an impression that when the Magic Leap One finally made it to the public, some immediately referenced the fact that Magic Leap's promise of next level augmented reality left out that long-awaited whale demo.

Well, the wait is over, and now we can compare the original vision with the (augmented) reality.

Nested within the Helio web app, the demo allows you to put a sperm whale in your real-world space. When I gave it a try, it turned out that the experience demanded a much larger space (no shrinking this experience down).

But fear not, a few users, like the one in the video below (who had to go outside to demo the experience), have uploaded their attempts at conjuring the AR whale on the Magic Leap One.

To be sure, it looks great. Does it live up to the original vision? I'll let you be the judge by checking out the original vision below.

Personally, since I never expected to see such stunning realism from Magic Leap's secrecy-shrouded device, the reality of the company's AR whale looks just fine to me.

Although, somehow, I suspect that part of the reason you can't shrink this whale experience like you can with all other Helio objects is related to possible sensitivities at the company around delivering on that original vision/promise.

One of the other two experiments released this week shows off an e-commerce demo in which the user can change the color of a dress worn by a 3D model as it slowly rotates to catwalk music. In the background, a porthole into a city street frames the experience to offer a hint at what the dress might look like in the wild.

The other experiment is fairly simple but shows off an example of how shapes can serve as doorways into other real-world environments, in this case, Iceland. It's an experiment that I could see working well for tourism and travel apps within the Magic Leap ecosystem.

These are just a few examples of where Magic Leap thinks developers can take the system, and we'll likely see far more interesting examples in October when the company holds its first public gathering for developers, creators, and industry partners in Los Angeles.

Cover image via Magic Leap/YouTube

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