Lucasfilm Launches Augmented Reality Lab With Magic Leap

Courtesy of Magic Leap

Super secretive Magic Leap will set up shop with Lucasfilm's ILMxLAB in San Francisco.

The Princess Leia hologram that launched the events in Star Wars might look crude compared with the real-life technology that Lucasfilm plans to create with augmented reality startup Magic Leap. 

Lucasfilm's ILMxLAB is teaming with the super secretive startup on a research lab that will develop immersive stories for Magic Leap's yet-to-be-unveiled technology, the companies announced Thursday at the Wired Business Conference. The studio will be based out of Lucasfilm's San Francisco campus.

Funded by Google and Alibaba, Florida-based Magic Leap is working on technology that would show realistic computer-generated images mixed with real-life images. An early prototype, for example, shows a robot dancing under a desk in the Magic Leap offices. Exactly what type of projects it will work on with ILM is unclear, but the companies released a video featuring R2-D2 and C-3PO to announce the partnership. 

"The future of mixed reality and immersive entertainment holds incredible promise, and we are honored to work with Magic Leap to shape that future," said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. "At Lucasfilm and ILM, innovation has always been in our DNA. Through this collaboration, ILMxLAB further propels our legacy of exploration and leadership on this new platform for experiential storytelling." 

Magic Leap founder Rony Abovitz called the relationship with Lucasfilm "a perfect fit," noting that the Disney-owned production company "has created some of the most iconic characters of our time — ones that dare us to dream, unlock our imagination and excite us to go on a journey with them."