Truth is oftentimes stranger than fiction, but because wide-spread, photorealistic augmented reality is still in the realm of science fiction rather than science fact, we usually defer to the storytellers and visual effects gurus to explore the possibilities. In one such sci-fi short called Strange Beasts, augmented reality is capable of delivering a realistic Tamagotchi game superimposed onto the physical world.

Written, directed and produced by Magali BarbéStrange Beasts is a futuristic tale of a startup headed by Victor Weber, a games developer and founder of a fictional company that’s created an AR game that lets you customize, grow, and play with an AI-driven virtual pet. Parodying a promo video you might see on a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter or IndieGogo, Strange Beasts (the game) is made possible by a fictional pair of “nano retina” AR lenses that Victor says can project a digital light-field image directly on your retinas, a technology, that in effect, mimics AR company MagicLeap’s mysterious digital light-field display.

Victor then introduces his daughter, showing a heartfelt scene of the two playing with their respective fantastic pets, Walter and Bloobee. That’s when the sci-fi short leaves you pondering just who the “strange beast” really is.

Speaking to the UK’s Huffington Post, film creator Barbé says inspiration for the film first came when trying Tilt Brush (2016) in the HTC Vive. He then watched hundreds of videos about VR, AR, the latest game trends, the future of gaming, and Google Glass. “I guess watching all this put me in a specific mood, a mix of fascination and fear. I wanted to translate this feeling into film, so I’m glad that people picked up on it,” Barbé told Huffington Post.

image courtesy Magali Barbé

“Of course, I have seen those videos where people are running around everywhere chasing Pokémon, and that definitely inspired the film. I generally love reading about science and technologies. I’m always wondering about what’s next and I like to read crazy or serious theories about the future of humankind… I’m fascinated by the theory that the future of humanity will be fully digital, and that it will entirely lose its material side. People see it as either the end or the future of humanity. It’s an interesting question.”

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Check out the full interview with the creator here.


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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Xron

    Wow… this shows some awesome things you could do with matured Ar devices.
    Should help people that are lonely pretty well. 10 out of 10.

  • WyrdestGeek

    Yeah, that’s sufficiently creepy.

    Not actually bad though.

    Welcome To Paradox.

  • kalqlate

    A repeat, but always fun and prescient.