Peter Jackson: 'AR will be bigger than mobile in 10 years'

Peter Jackson: 'AR will be bigger than mobile in 10 years'
Matthew Jarvis

By Matthew Jarvis

April 20th 2016 at 4:48PM

'I find mixed reality much more exciting than VR – mixed reality doesn’t take you out of this world,' says Lord of the Rings director

Film director Peter Jackson has placed his bets on augmented reality, rather than virtual reality, achieving mainstream success.

Speaking to Wired, the Lord of the Rings, Braindead and The Hobbit film-maker, who also sits on the advisory panel of AR startup Magic Leap, said that AR’s ability to meld real life with virtual content would see it even rival mobile for consumers’ interest.

“I find mixed reality much more exciting than VR,” he explained. “Mixed reality doesn’t take you out of this world. Instead it adds elements to our real world. And it has great flexibility. You can add as little as you want – a single tiny figure on this tabletop talking to us – or you can replace the walls of this room with a skyscape so we’re sitting here watching clouds float by.

“If you have your Magic Leap glasses on, you can look up at the Empire State Building and watch it being built in the early 1930s, floor by floor, but sped up. Maybe while you are walking around the modern streets of Chicago you see gangsters driving past with tommy guns. It could be a form of education, entertainment, and tourism.

“In 10 years I expect that mixed-reality technology like Magic Leap will be used as much as, if not more than, smartphones.”

Jackson has previously experimented with new visual techniques while making the Hobbit trilogy of films, which were released in 48 frames per second – as well as the cinema standard of 24 fps – and 3D.

“This mixed reality is not an extension of 3D movies,” he said of on any possible comparison between the technology and AR. “It’s something completely different.

“Once you can create the illusion of solid objects anywhere you want, you create new entertainment opportunities.”

Develop is currently running a month-long VR Special. Check out more virtual reality content here.