Magic Leap’s first experiences are still highly experimental

There were porgs. Porgs all around me. They cooed, flapped their wings and stared at me, as if begging for a treat. My dreams of being surrounded by the adorable alien birds from Star Wars have come true.

Okay, there were only two porgs. And they weren’t real. They were actually a part of Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB demo at LeapCon, Magic Leap’s inaugural developer conference, where I managed to try out several different augmented reality experiences with the company’s recently revealed AR glasses. I watched a Shakespearean play, interacted with a digital human, planted seeds on a planet, rode a robot into the stars and, yes, I played with porgs.

If you’re sensing a lack of theme, you’re not wrong. Magic Leap’s developer scene is so young that every demo still feels raw and new, like a baby just born into the world. In many ways, developers and designers are just throwing ideas at a wall and seeing what sticks. Some made video games, some created art, and others just came up with wild and wacky experiences.

One of the highlights was definitely the porgs, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a fan (Okay, that might’ve influenced it a little). In a faux living room, while wearing the Magic Leap glasses, I was summoned by C3PO to help gather up the mischievous creatures with treats and toys, such as a ball of twigs or a stuffed Chewbacca.

As I threw the toys around the room, the porgs followed suit, running and flying after them, sometimes jumping on tables and chairs. Sometimes they hid away or were a bit temperamental, and I had to draw them out with snacks. I could also lift them up with a cursor and place them around the room.

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