News: Mixed Reality Advertisements Sound Hellish—But Magic Leap Has a Plan

Mixed Reality Advertisements Sound Hellish—But Magic Leap Has a Plan

Graeme Devine, Chief Creative Officer at Magic Leap, spoke at the Games for Change festival about how mixed reality will change the world for the better. While we might need to take our own magic leap to believe in his utopian future, he hinted at a solution to the impending problem most of us fear: a cluttered, endless nightmare of ads.

The video above shows the nightmare many fear will be our future once mixed and augmented reality headsets proliferate in society. It's not difficult to imagine this as our possible future when advertising already clutters up so much of the internet. But Devine argues that we can do better:

'We can say we won't let advertising happen...which will work for about two months,' says Devine. 'Or we can think about what advertising will be like in mixed reality.'

He says the better way to combat popup ads and banners you don't want to see will be working with businesses to make mixed reality experiences that you'll actually want to see.

He might be right. While Magic Leap continues to offer a rather frustrating narrative of wistful ideas and contextless video demonstrations rather than anything concrete, the experiences Devine hints at already exist.

While it's not in a headset (yet), Snapchat offers sponsored filters that let you put on makeup or turn your head into a taco. These filters come with branding so when you snap yourself in a new digital shade of purple lipstick—you become the ad for your friends and followers. This is inherently more fun than a meaningless animated banner floating in your field of vision and bodes well for the future of mixed reality marketing.

Devine believes we're in for a future where mixed reality will exist prominently in society just two years from now. In five, he expects half the population to participate in the technology—with mixed reality being an extension of us in just a decade.

Those predictions seem ambitious, and Devine described a utopian future that no technology could ever live up to, but his attitude is still encouraging. Mixed reality advertisements may not, on the whole, turn out to be a blissful and joyous experience for users, but at least that's the goal.

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Cover image by Keiichi Matsuda/Vimeo

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