Augmented reality developers who have exhausted their treasure trove of video tutorials and panels from the recent Magic Leap developer conference can now shift their continuing education attention to Unity.
The Unite Los Angeles 2018 conference took place on October 23, with the keynote and selected daily sessions live-streamed on YouTube. Since then, Unity has steadily uploaded the recorded sessions to its YouTube channel, including several sessions on augmented reality and virtual reality.
The latest batch includes some of the more practical sessions for AR developers to absorb, including more insight from Magic Leap on developing in Unity.
Magic Leap Studios senior director of production Dan Lehrich, lead software engineer Martin Smith and senior creative director Jeremy Vanhoozer shared their experiences and some of the technical challenges in the design and production of Create, the Magic Leap One app that enables users to turn their space into an augmented reality playground populated with dinosaurs, knights, and more.
"I think it was very important for us to put out a project like this that was inviting and warm and really got people into the idea of spatial computing," said Vanhoozer.
The presentation includes some archival footage of the app's inception, including a peek at Magic Leap's "WD3" prototype headset, as wielded by Andy Lanning, comic world ambassador at Magic Leap (and co-author of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy comic series).
"We had a game jam type event at Magic Leap called Pitch Fest in 2015, and the studio did all kinds of prototypes and turned in all kinds of ideas, and one of those ideas was an art program," said Vanhoozer, whose role included filtering the various ideas for Create into a usable app. "It was a really good way to introduce people to the concept of what we were trying to do."
For developers who have not jumped into creating for Magic Leap yet, Unity also shared its recorded session, led by AR evangelist Dan Miller, which offered pointers on working with its handheld AR template and multiplatform AR SDK
Finally, Unity tackled a topic that is familiar to AR developers, as well as those of us who play with AR apps on a regular basis. That topic is extending battery life and avoiding overheating, because, believe it or not, apps that run a camera full-time, render 3D content, and scan for environmental features still suck up a lot of power.
As one of the leading development platforms for augmented reality apps, Unity also fills a role in the augmented reality ecosystem as an educator alongside makers of AR hardware and operating systems, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Magic Leap. (Of course, Next Reality also acts as your AR development tutor.)
While Unity surely prefers that developers actually attend the conference and take in the full experience, the company can still advance knowledge in the industry by sharing this kind of video documentation of the event.