“I don’t know if I’m allowed to say…”
In an interview about his thoughts on the next big things in tech, Golden State Warriors small forward Andre Iguodala gushed on augmented reality and undoubtedly skated the lines of violating his Magic Leap NDA as he described his demo with the product, which he called a “disruption of life.”
The NBA star talked to CNET’s Brian Tong about his demo with the Florida-based augmented reality company, which has raised more than $1.4 billion from prominent backers like Google, Alibaba and Andreessen Horowitz.
Iguodala gave some interesting insight into what a Magic Leap interface might look like, saying that in one demonstration he stuck his hand out and a character appeared in his hand that acted as a digital assistant for the device, something Iguodala compared to Apple’s Siri. He referenced the character’s ability to control smart-home devices, as well as other aspects of the operating system.
Perhaps most interesting was Iguodala’s assertion that many things in his demo were controlled by eye movements, saying that you could use your gaze to control items in your environment such as turning off your lights by looking at them or adjusting the temperature in your home using only eye controls.
Magic Leap has had its fair share of setbacks over the past several months as details have emerged that the company is having some difficulty miniaturizing the light field display tech it is planning to build into its finished consumer product. Eye-tracking has interestingly been listed as one way that Magic Leap may be able to “cheat” on implementing light field tech and switch the focal planes of the display based on where the user is looking at a given time.
Many have detailed that their demos with the company took place using a much larger helmet-like device attached to a powerful computer; Magic Leap hopes to ship with a very small form factor featuring smaller glasses attached to a belt pack that holds much of the compute and battery power. Iguodala reiterated the tiny size of what Magic Leap hopes to ship.
“The actual device is so small — the one that’s going to come to market — it’s almost like you have a pair of sunglasses on,” he said.
Magic Leap seems to enjoy celebrity attention. As for the reason that the basketball player was brought down to check out the demo, Iguodala detailed that the team at Magic Leap was “interested in doing some stuff with sports.” In February, Business Insider reported that Magic Leap had put a demo together for Beyoncé, which she allegedly was not impressed with; that doesn’t seem to be the case for Iguodala.