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Magic Leap teams up with Lucasfilms for mixed reality Star Wars content

When a tiny hologram of Princess Leia reached out to Obi Wan for help in Star Wars episode IV, the filmmakers could not have known how soon their speculative mixed reality technology would come to life.

Using the force

When a tiny hologram of Princess Leia reached out to Obi Wan for help in Star Wars episode IV, the filmmakers could not have known how soon their speculative mixed reality technology would come to life.

At a recent WIRED Business Conference in New York City, Rony Abovitz of secretive “mixed reality” startup, Magic Leap, announced that they would create a joint laboratory with Lucasfilms. Last year, Lucasfilms created ILMxLAB to bring the world of Star Wars to life using virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies.

Secretive company yet to release a project

While Magic Leap has attracted a lot of high-dollar investments, the company continues to stay mum about its secret works-in-progress, and has yet to release a product. But we know this much – Magic Leap is working on mixed reality, that is, incorporating virtual reality effects into real world spaces.

A teaser video Abovitz shared at the WIRED conference shows C-3PO and R2-D2 walking around a living room and projecting a hologram onto a coffee table. But unlike a hologram, these robots don’t just hover in mid-air.

They interact with the environment as though they are really in it.

When R2-D2 steps up to the table, the lower half of the bot disappears from view behind the table, just as it would in real life.

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Experimental storytelling

CTO of xLabs, Rob Bredow, further described the possibilities for “experimental storytelling,”:

One-to-one scale ships and characters, things where you suddenly feel like you’re there. I could be looking at somebody, and there’s also a ship taking off and a droid running around – like you walked onto the set, but it’s all real.

Get ready for your world to be rocked

This collaboration between the sci-fi wizards at Lucasfilms and the tech geniuses at Magic Leap will undoubtedly revolutionize entertainment as we know it, bringing the popular Star Wars characters closer than ever to the audience, and immersing the viewer in a science-fictional world. Says Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilms, “with world-class storytelling and tech talent in our joint lab, the promise of compelling mixed reality entertainment is one step closer.”

The semi-secret joint lab will be based at ILM’s headquarter in San Francisco.


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Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.

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