Disney’s ‘Magic Bench’ Fixes AR’s Biggest Blind Spot
“Think of it as the difference between tourist attraction photo opportunities,” says Todd Richmond, project director at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies. Headgear and phone-based AR, he says, are more like selfies, where you choose the camera angle and perspective. “The Magic Bench is somewhat like the ‘take your picture here’ cutouts,” says Richmond, the kind where a painting of a giraffe leaves a hole for you to poke your head through.
That comes with downsides, though. “Experiencing augmented content through a screen or projection in front of the user can take them one step back from the world,” says David Nelson, who specializes in virtual storytelling at ICT. “These experiences put the user into an augmented world, as opposed to augmenting the world that the user is already in.”