“Cyber illusionist” Marco Tempest has been using technology to pull off magic tricks on YouTube and at live events for years. But at the Code Conference today in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Tempest explained that he has to follow technological progress closely — lest it put him out of a job.
“Science will make real what once was considered magic, which is why magicians must stay ahead of the reality curve,” Tempest said. “Magic is about making possible today what science will make a reality tomorrow.”
Not unlike Facebook’s Michael Abrash, Tempest proposed that the world will one day take technologically-generated realities more seriously. Magicians today find the “possibility of illusion in the everyday,” and Tempest compared them to hackers in their attempts to subvert things’ intended purposes.
“To magicians, the world is like ‘The Matrix,’ where surface familiarity hides a far more interesting domain where objects and ideas can be twisted, morphed and manipulated to do things they were never designed to do,” Tempest said.
He then showed off an illusion made in collaboration with Qualcomm: A simple card trick powered by an augmented reality app. When he held a box with an AR marker in front of an iPad, the box “opened” to reveal five playing cards. A little more expensive than a deck of cards, but …
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.