Magic Leap One, the company’s long-awaited AR headset, has been out for a month now. While we’ve been teased with some pretty interesting upcoming content for the platform, such as Weta GameShop’s shooter Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders and a newly announced mocap project with Andy Serkis (Gollum from Lord of the Rings) performing as an “orc-like character”, you’d be forgiven if you thought most of the still unreleased games and apps planned for the headset are still being developed behind closed doors. That’s not entirely true, as a group of AR/VR developers are currently testing out the headset’s abilities to create multiplayer experiences with a pretty inspiring first success.
Tweeted by JJ Castillo of Viewer Ready, a video reveals several remotely linked avatars shooting at targets—a simple demo, but an interesting look into the beginnings of an augmented shared space right in your living room, where real people can pop in for a chat and a quick game.
Created by Steve Lukas, a co-Founder of Across Realities, and joined by Castillo, and Twitter software engineer Andrés Ornelas and Anima Games founder Tony Ramirez, the four move around their respective rooms, tossing out targets with a hand gesture and having a group chat in the process of shooting down the targets, aided by the Magic Leap Control, the system’s single 6DOF motion controller.
— JJ Castillo (@JJCastilloVR) September 6, 2018
While the interactions and low poly models are fairly simple from a gaming perspective, the effect it has on Lukas was anything but. In a tweet, he says he felt like he and the others were the “[first people] to land on the moon.”
At this point, it’s clear multiplayer AR is still in its (very) early infancy, with Apple updating their ARKit software only recently to include multiuser AR at its core. This however is experienced through the tiny window of a hand-held iPhone or iPad, and are really more like first steps to get prospective AR developers to think spatially despite the lack of real Apple-brand head-mounted AR hardware.
It’s very likely that in years to come we’ll be popping in and out of our friends and family’s living rooms for a quick chat while going about our daily business, and while the $2,300 Magic Leap One is still very much a developer kit, and a second iteration of Microsoft’s HoloLens has yet to rear its head in response, we’ll be relying on these early pioneers to see just what the AR space can conceptually and practically offer despite its clear hardware limitations.