Augmented Reality Magician Shows You the Future Today

augmented reality magic marco tempest

Augmented reality (AR) seems an inevitable part of our future. The possibilities are easy to see but realizing the necessary technology is incredibly complex. Researchers, experimenters, and tech folk are slowly advancing what can be done with augmented reality. And yet it is a magician that can show you the future of augmented reality, today.

Marco Tempest is a Swiss magician who is noted for his mixture of technology and magic. He calls himself a “cyber-illusionist”. Tempest has performed at TED a number of times. His latest skit does an excellent job of showing the advanced object detection and interaction that we can expect from augmented reality of the future:

Augmented Reality Magic

The apparent object recognition is extremely good (meaning fast and accurate), but we can’t make any assumptions knowing that we’re working with a magician. It’s unclear if Tempest is programming the technical parts of the shows by himself but if so then color me impressed!

Real magic confounds and makes you wonder how it is done. Tempest has done just that! There are all the hallmarks of advanced augmented reality at play in his show above, but is he really capable of programming real-time AR with this fidelity? It’s possible that he is using a pre-recorded sequence… after all, you never see the audience through the camera that he is wearing. Still, we are left wondering exactly how it is done.

My favorite part is the disappearing card at 2:55. Being able to rewind and rewatch this move makes it obvious how it is done, but I’ll let you figure it out on your own. Regardless, it is a great blend of the real world and the digital world — the definition of augmented reality!

Whether real-time or pre-recorded, it’s still an awesome demonstration of how advanced algorithms with allow augmented reality to detect and interact with objects in our world. You might be surprised how advanced the latest AR technology has become.

If you enjoyed the video above, here’s Tempest’s prior TED performance which is equally as cool!


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