A lot of the early reactions to Magic Leap’s much-anticipated release last month could be described as lukewarm at best. It’s not entirely surprising, as much of the coverage of any new XR (AR, VR, MR) product or software hinges around whether or not something lives up to the hype and if this is the game-changing device that puts this new form of technology into the hands of the masses. I think that while the company and their tech has been heavily hyped, the reviews put an unearned pressure on it as a consumer-ready device. I’d like to dispel some of those notions, while also laying out a roadmap for what we can achieve during this release as creators.
It’s For The Creators
The current Magic Leap available is the aptly named Magic Leap One: Creator Edition. This release across six cities has been targeted to developers and XR creatives. It’s up to us - whether you’ve got brand manager, creative director, creative technologist, creative producer or some combination of those words in your title - to begin to test the limits of this technology and understand how we can utilize it to tell stories in a way that differs from traditional media, as well as existing AR and VR platforms.
There’s Not A Lot of Content - So Make Some
There’s not a ton of content available, and I find that inspiring. I took the Leap home over the weekend, and populated my living room with a variety of sea creatures. As I watched them swim and interact with each other, moving around them, I began to consider what else I’d like to see in there. There’s fish. Jellyfish. What about a giant squid? Engaging with the Magic Leap and the material available at this point should spur these thoughts in creators and get them excited about what they can contribute to this emerging medium.
What Can Brands Do?
Beyond jumping onboard as storytelling pioneers, there are opportunities for agencies and brands to provide access to the consumer, as they have with a variety of high end VR products. With the Magic Leap’s current price, it won’t have mass adoption. So brands and agencies should consider this a tool when they’re creating a pop up presence at a conference or public place. The joy experienced by users will radiate out to crowds passing by, and draw more people into the brand’s experience. And if what the viewer sees within the Magic Leap effectively ties back to the brand, then it’ll be something that contributes to the success of the overall campaign.
The Magic Leap offers a vastly different sensory input/output experience than other platforms. There’s the aspect which many are familiar with, in that you see 3D elements in the real world via the lens, but a lot of the magic comes from how you interact. Gaze control, gesture control, and a small controller all offer a variety of options for interaction.
To me, that’s a lot to be excited about. I don’t expect everyone to be ready to dive into this new tech yet, but you should seek out ways to experience it. Even though its in a limited number of cities, there’s a chance that some creators you know have taken the leap, and you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for a peak. We’d be more than happy to have anyone interested try out the Leap at Nice Shoes, and I’m sure many other studios and creators feel the same (though we’d of course prefer you come see us).
Tom Westerlin is creative director at Nice Shoes