back to article Remember that amazing video of the whale leaping out the gym floor and splashing down? Yeah, it was BS

It was a shared "wow!" for millions across the globe: a video showing kids in a gym watching as a whale appeared to breach the floor, leap high in the air and come crashing down with water flying everywhere. It was, we were told, on every TV channel and all over the internet, technology that we can soon expect to see in our …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Magic Leap (of faith)

    Reminds me of the conspiracy DOPEs (Department Of Propaganda Employees) who push all the wild nonsensical bullshit as being real. It comes down to knowledge. Either you have real knowledge built up over time, or you have a belief system no better than the world's many, yet all bullshit, religions. Sure, so MANY people "believe." Yet none know anything that translates into hard evidence, and quality info ready for peer review. DOPEs, they are unpaid dupes designed to push false info long enough to get someone, anyone, to buy in to the lie, but more importantly to make it seem like governments are capable of extraordinarily operations that defy logic; like the "Bush did 9/11" idiots. Just watch South Park season 10 episode 9 and it will all become clear. Also watch episode 8, because in that one Cartman does some PRIME shitting on his mom. Priceless!

    I make money in the real world using real knowledge. I know a guy who is a DOPE of the highest order, and he used to be a tow truck driver, but failed and dropped someone's car off the back of a flatbed tow truck. Let's see, who has the knowledge... someone who's successful in the tech industry and makes huge amounts of cash using real knowledge, or a failed tow truck driver who thinks the fucking moon landing was a made up event. It's not stupid, it's just sad.

    Whenever is see assholes like this Magic Jack CEO I wonder how he got there and how fast I could out do him at EVERY level of technical expertise. What a fucking tosser... The marks on my toilet paper after I wipe off my shit make more sense than this shithead's business plan. I wish I possessed the gene that makes it possible for me to rip off normal people with a straight face AND be able to sleep at night after forgetting all the bullshit I produced that day. I call that the TV Preacher Gene.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Magic Leap (of faith)

      I want to agree with you, coz in essence I do, but you seem like such a horrible character full of hubris that I'm reacting against you as much as against the Magicleap character and don't know what to think anymore. Wait...Yes I do. Be gone the both of you.

      1. stu 4

        Re: Magic Leap (of faith)

        @AC: "you seem like such a horrible character full of hubris that I'm reacting against you"

        and right there is why America has Trump as a president.

        In your world what someone says is only listened to and agreed with if you like the person...So maybe you 'agree' that most of the stuff Hilary says makes sense but <repeat your line above> and voted trump.

        Dawkins is another character which some people see to struggle to listen to and instead react to the hubris.

        If you have a look at the comments to one of one of our greatest every scientists and you see the same thing:

        People calling him out for being an opinionated a$$hole, or 'talking down to people'.

        It's utterly depressing.

        I listen to what someone says. I don't really give a shit what they look like, how full of 'hubris' they are, or how much I hate their hair style... I LISTEN. Do I agree with what they are saying ? that's the important but FFS.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Magic Leap (of faith)

          A bit off topic now, but...

          I take your point but am not sure about your conclusion. Trump is a much worse person than Hilary, and people said so, yet still voted for him regardless, so they were not voting according to their reactions or feelings towards the bad stuff but for other reasons which are vastly more complex.

          And I was listening to what the OP was saying, I said I agreed with him. He just sounds like someone I wouldn't want to be with very long, which I admit is a dangerous stance to take on the internet since unintended attitudes can creep into unaccompanied text which the poster does not really deserve. And I didn't not vote for Trump because of his hair style, I didn't vote for Trump because of what he said and proposed. Oh, and I like Dawkins. I think he's a charming personable man, or at least came across that way every time I saw him speak. We love you anyway. Don't get too depressed. Its winter but light will return. Have an upvote.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: Magic Leap (of faith)

            > Trump is a much worse person than Hilary,

            This seems to be a thinkfluencer consensus based on not much more than MSM nastiness later retconned to "fairness". It still needs to be seen that this is so. Trump hasn't yet blown up a whole country and furnished weapons to Al Nusra for no other reasons than to give a blowjob to our two friends in the Middle East and show Putin (officially know as "the new Hitler") who's boss. Electing Hillary, you would have p(WWII) to "destroy evil" hovering at around 99%+.

            I would never have thought that I would prefer Bismarck-style ultranasty "Realpolitik" to liberventionist world-saving retardation, but here we are.

            1. Geoffrey W

              Re: Magic Leap (of faith)

              @monster slayer

              Too much alt-right jargon and made up words. I don't understand what you are saying.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good article.

    Thank you.

    That's all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good article.

      I was wondering how much equally applies to radbot?

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Excellent round up on how to calibrate peoples personal BS meter

    And this company should have most peoples red lining.

    So basically they can do it if you have a whole server farm at your disposal and are ready to wear a helmet that's heavier than the clunker F35 pilots are expected to wear.

    Sounds like they are going to need a shedload of either GPU porting or crafting their own custom ASICs to get the design down that far.and/or slashing the resolution and frame rate of course.

  4. Kaltern

    Quick guide to spotting non-existent tech

    That list could definitely be applied to Cloud Imperium Games.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Quick guide to spotting non-existent tech

      I was just think how much of that list also applies to companies like Apple too. Or pretty much any major tech company.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Quick guide to spotting non-existent tech

        "how much of that list also applies to companies like Apple too. Or pretty much any major tech company."

        Same here, except I was wondering what this outfit *in particular* (rather than any other outfit) did to deserve this particular article at this particular time. I don't remember similar articles on (say) Autonomy or even Steorn, though Steorn took a lot of stick from commenters (and rightly so).

        More like this (and the ones on Pavegen, and...) would be welcome. Maybe even e.g. followup on BloomBox. But get the best lawyers you can afford (see recent PwC/SAP article).


        Bloom Energy:

        1. Don Dumb

          Re: Quick guide to spotting non-existent tech

          @AC - "I don't remember similar articles on (say) Autonomy or even Steorn, though Steorn took a lot of stick from commenters (and rightly so)."

          I guess maybe they didn't get an article like this because Autonomy didn't do a massive viral marketing campaign using bollocks videos. The point isn't so much massive business cons but noticing the hallmarks of a modern invest-in-us campaign that is more a bluff than a genuinely well meaning startup.

          I must admit, I hadn't heard of Autonomy before the HP purchase, I hadn't heard of Steorn until your post. I hadn't heard of this company by name but I had seen people posting this video on social media several times and I have noticed lots of similar 'this technology will change the future' video marketing.

          There does seem to be a formula of, whip up excitement by getting noticed and then using coverage of that notoriety as vindication that your company is successful, then getting investment based on that 'success', then surfing that bow wave of investment to get more investment. Only then do you (eventually) either release the amazing product or the bluff gets called and the investment gets pulled. But by then, the CEO/ringleader has made their money and moves on, getting to blame everyone else for not having their vision.

  5. Brian Miller


    Is "vaporware" not a term any longer? Stuff like this has been, and will be: hype with no deliverable. This time around, we get to see a CEO going through some kind of melt down.

    If they had a demo that was worth anything, it would be on a fondleslab app that anybody could download for free. But they don't have that demo, and they don't have anything that's worth the hype.

    1. james 68

      Re: Vaporware

      Indeed it is.

      Personally I have viewed Magic Leap as the Half-Life 2: Episode 3 of the VR world for some time now, this article pretty much just sums up my own conclusions.

      Lets just call it what it is: Vapourware.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Vaporware

        Personally I have viewed Magic Leap as the Half-Life 2: Episode 3 of the VR world

        With the obvious difference that HL3 is actually technically possible.

        It's probably more like Duke Nukem Forever; it'll turn up 10 years late and deliver on few or none of the promises it made, after the technology around it has moved on, and get the response it deserves - a resounding "meh".

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Vaporware

      The sounds more like stock fraudware with just enough legality to avoid prison.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not just Startups. BT is just as bad with its Pointless

    The way BT is promoting Bamboozled, Obfuscated, 'upto' Pointless as their solution to the UK's rollout of 'upto' 1GBbps Ultrafast Broadband is no different.

    You don't need to be a Startup to push obsolete Copper Carcass 'mutton' Technology as 'sweated' Lamb. won't provide blanket Ultrafast Broadband for the UK, its a hotchpotch at best.

    The 'upto' could be anything from 1Mbps to a more realistic, but lower figure of 150Mbps-200Mbps, 150m from an existing 1:1 mapped FTTC cab. The current 1:1 roll-out mapping proposal with existing FTTC cabinets, crucially provides no help to people further by line length from an existing cabinet.

    If you don't live anywhere near (<150m of a cab) of an existing FTTC cab or have FTTP, don't expect much speed improvement until 2030.


    Refusing to give a launch date. (OK BT give a launch date, just never meet it, put back dates constantly) .Check.

    Refusing to talk about the tech, claiming confidentiality or trade secrets. Check.

    Using news of investments or hires as evidence of technological progress. Check.

    Promoting itself on a big stage rather than in a small room. Check.

    Offering a well-crafted message and vision but becoming immediately vague when pushed on actual details. Check

    Offering "exclusive access" – with restrictions. Check (access to trials)

    Confusing working hard with making progress (with Check


  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Now, let's talk about the EM Drive...


    My boss is of the opinion that one day NP-complete problems will be solved in polynomial time.

    And that I can install Active Directory companywide in 2 days, 3 max.

    Reality: It just doesn't agree with some people.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      1. mix

        Re: Related because I'm nursing a headache

        Cheers for that rabbit hole time eater... :D

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Now, let's talk about the EM Drive...

      Once again, life imitates art?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. PM.

      Re: Now, let's talk about the EM Drive...

      Now that you mentioned EM Drive ...

  8. David Roberts

    No composting used?

    So it will remain a steaming pile of shit?

    Compositing, now...?

    If they claimed it was real and they lied to raise money, isn't that fraud?

  9. quxinot

    Are the vulture's writers paid by the word, instead of by the article?

    "Marketing is bullshit."

    There, much more consise, easily read, and as informative. Please send my commission to the usual address.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Not quite

      There is a difference between marketing a product or service that (mostly) exists and that can ship (pretty soon), and marketing a product that does not exist and the set of things you don't know about building it is several times the size of the set of things you do know.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Not quite

        But truly good things need no marketing. They sell on their reputations alone.

  10. petestrohm

    Looks like this article written someone from MS Hololens team

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Conspiracy theorist, what?

      OK you got us, we are the Microsoft Hololens team.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Conspiracy theorist, what?

        So when can I expect Bob to be in my room, all the time?

        (This reminds me that in a David Lynch universe, having Bob in your room, all the time, is probably not a good thing.)

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          Re: David Lynch universe

          They have great pie, though.

          1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

            Re: David Lynch universe

            In a Blackadder Universe, I'd be okay with Bob* being in my room.

            * Parkhurst

    2. Don Dumb

      @petestrohm - "Looks like this article written someone from MS Hololens team"

      Looks like you need to learn about the phrase 'damning with faint praise'.

      They way I read it, they weren't so much saying Hololens is great, as much as citing Hololens as an average example of that particular tech.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        The way I read it was, "syntax error".

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        "Looks like you need to learn about the phrase 'damning with faint praise'."

        And it looks like YOU need to learn about the trope "Insult Backfire". In this case, someone shallow would take the faint praise for a true compliment regardless of your intentions.

  11. tehrev223

    I thought this was familiar, it was a cover story for Wired this last spring!

    What? No uh, my wife bought me subscription... I don't actually pay attention to other tech publications. >.>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Isn't Wired a lifestyle publication though?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they should create a new augmented video showing clothes on an emperor?

  13. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    TBH it's the ones they hired on share options that I feel sorry for (a bit)

    They are going to be worthless.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    The guide to spotting non-existent tech

    Yeah. About that...

    Remember the old adage - if it sounds too good to be true...

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: The guide to spotting non-existent tech's probably Alien Technology!

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: The guide to spotting non-existent tech

        ... or somehow has something to do with the F-35.

        1. Geoffrey W

          Re: The guide to spotting non-existent tech

          The F35 is hugely successful...for those involved in its creation.

          1. CanadianMacFan

            Re: The guide to spotting non-existent tech

            So what you are really saying that Magic Leap did wrong is not get a government contract that was part of the F-35?

  15. Christian Berger

    Well you need to do plausibility checks

    And actually such augmented reality actually could, in theory, be possible if you extrapolate the technology we currently have, after all there's nothing absolutely impossible. You could, in theory, set up something like that with already existing equipment. It's just that often companies are simply not up to the task of doing it.

    What I find more frustrating and noteworthy is that some people choose to believe other, more abstract, impossible things. For example some companies claim they can somehow build mobile devices that can store information "securely" without you entering a secure passphrase. This is obviously bullshit once you think about it. In order to encrypt and decrypt mass data you need to have some sort of a key. Now you either completely derive it from your passphrase (and some data being on the device), or you need to store it somewhere. All the data that's on the device can be read, even if it's on "security chips". All it takes is a moderate budget... which actually may be quite small for mass produced devices. (uncap the chip, add some traces on the FIB and you can brute force the PIN)

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Well you need to do plausibility checks

      > after all there's nothing absolutely impossible

      Come back when something is faster than c.

      Also: Why Philosophers Should Care About Computational Complexity

      (Yes, I know you mean "there's nothing that I consider possible that is absolutely impossible", but that's not the same)

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Well you need to do plausibility checks

        Or better, coming up with a true three-dimensional light field in open space.

  16. JeffyPoooh

    The fake fake is fake

    As above...

  17. Lee D

    If you were investing millions into something, would you not request a personal demo where you actually see the demo for yourself, in your own time, and see how it works?

    "Stupid investors lose money" is not a news article, even if they lost due to a 'con'.

    1. Don Dumb


      @Lee D - "If you were investing millions into something, would you not request a personal demo where you actually see the demo for yourself, in your own time, and see how it works?"

      You're making a *massive* assumption - that the contracts to invest money don't have many, many stipulations about at what point money gets exchanged. I wonder if Dragons Den/Sharktank gives everyone the idea that investment always means getting all the money upfront.

      Whilst there are indeed idiot investors, I would imagine that for something like this, the investors have seen many similar claims and aren't *that* stupid to put all their money in up front with no strings attached. I'm guessing that most only give the big financial transfers of the investment when concrete milestones are achieved. Often investments seem to come with representatives being inserted into the venture (perhaps at board level), it would be difficult to pull the wool over people's eyes when they have their own people on the inside.

      If I was an investor (I'm definitely not) I might commit a large amount of money but only pay a small amount up front, most of the funding would be payable when tangible (non-fabricatable) things (like a product getting to market) were demonstrably achieved AND with contracted breakpoints so I could pull out of the commitment if nothing was achieved within a given timeframe.

      When the author, talks about "investors pulling out" I assume that they are withdrawing from commitments having not already paid out everything.

  18. Disk0

    It looks like you are trying to build Aperture Science Project #748/b

    ..the parts for which are only available from Reynholm Industries. Since they can't confirm or deny anything, I call shehanigans.

  19. 1Rafayal

    It's refreshing to see this type of article back on the reg.

    It's pieces like this that brought me here in the first place. Let's see if we can get back to the good old days

  20. TeeCee Gold badge


    Let me get this straight.

    Magic Leap produced a load of faked up vids of their non-existent "product", which were deliberately done in a way to make anyone seeing them think they were genuine. This resulted in millions of real dollars being invested in their fake product.

    Isn't that just good, old fashioned fraud? The only new and clever bit in their business model would appear to be that nobody's had their collar felt yet...

    1. Red Bren

      Re: Hmm..

      It's only fraud if you get caught, right?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm..

      >Magic Leap produced a load of faked up vids of their non-existent "product", which were deliberately done in a way to make anyone seeing them think they were genuine.

      Sort of, but the key is then getting Google, BBC, Brian Cox & many notables to market it for you....

      'I saw the prototype in Miami a few months ago and it's stunning.' says Prof Cox for instance.

  21. Old one

    ignores reality

    I get concerned when a "tech" writer appears to be far behind the times in a publication like The Register. " It's why we don't have flying cars. It's why autonomous vehicles are still a ways off. It's why the most advanced robots in the world still can't turn a door handle." It may be a small thing to many but autonomous vehicles in the US are progressing at a very fast rate. Three states have licensed vehicles of which one has cleared some for driver-less use. Two states have approved driver monitored driver-less tractor trailer use and are currently running those actual deliveries. These specific items may not be on this writer's radar but considering the world wide potential impact of both the AI & robotics combination, it is significant technology hence before denigrating it with outdated comments check the current status.

    We also have 2 flying cars that are going through the onerous safety regulations qualifications to be publicly sold & used. Both flying and driving testing has shown to be not just viable but probably practical to some people. Unfortunately overlapping issues create heretofore never seriously anticipated stumbling blocks. Its the A can't be approved until B but B needs A set in stone approval before B can certified. Just think what Branson and Bezos are working towards passenger carrying licenses are granted in their new areas of proposed flight operations. Bezo's use of both AI & robotics is space age reality not just set it off and hope it works if it lands.

    Buck Rodgers & Star Trek & Asimov were all dreams of what if... without dreams of what if where would we be? Investing -- well its not only tech that has scammers. Ever hear of Nigerian 411? Most of those are scams of the heart.

  22. pipp


    Even if they were lying through their teeth, doesn't it all look rather passé? Grabbing a gun and shooting stuff, with overblown effects going off everywhere - so much, so dull. I'm off to find a cup of hot chocolate and a good book :-)

  23. Tom Paine

    Oooooh, such /cynicism/!

    ...oh yeah, I remember -- that's why I read El Reg in the first place, \o/

  24. EnviableOne Silver badge

    It could be technically possible, if you have a massive internet connection and the headset was doing none of the processing.

    live stream to cloud-> cloud adds Augments, -> video stream to headset

    But its another case of hype over substance, did they recruit their marketing team from apple or something?

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      ...and if you were not in any way prone to motion sickness induced by the latency that set-up would entail, unlike the rest of the human race.

      1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

        Rotational head movements can be rendered locally. It's essentially the same level of effort as silly "360 VR" images on web pages.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Marketing shmarketing

    To be fair Hololens is also guilty of this slight of hand... Showing a rendered, PC powered experience to the audience which is a long way from the limited field of view, washed out, reality of the headset... And Alex Kipman when questioned (eg in his TED talk) immediately becomes defensive and takes the "you're holding it wrong" attack... The problem then is expectation can never be met resulting in crash, burn and disappointment and, like Kinect, another over-hyped v1 never gets a chance to mature...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Marketing shmarketing

      "Showing a rendered, PC powered experience to the audience"

      But you can go test and or buy a Hololens and see for yourself. And it mostly delivers on the hype.

  26. IPValidation

    Best form of acknowledgment is that of opposition

    I am a Magic Leap supporter and believe that the best form of opposition are those that are validating a form or acknowledgement of potential. Please open your mind and understand that both secondary and higher education are in need of this type of innovation and sound technology. After 19 years of conversations with both secondary and higher education this is both refreshing and encouraging for the tens of millions of learners that are going to be competing for a 21st century job. I for one will be lining up to assist in my edtech experience and connections to make this a "reality" in the classroom, districts and institutions of higher learning.

  27. realartistsship

    Waytools, is this you too?

    Sounds just like WayTools's TextBlade.

    Though that one seems to be stuck because of both technology and patent law.

    Apple's patent US9454239 seems to cover most of WayTool's tech.


  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crystal Ball

    Not buying into your predictive powers. You were wrong on November 8th and you're wrong now.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hololens V2 and an Xbox One X are going to wipe the floor with these guys...

  30. GX5000

    System Shock anyone?

    These guys sound like Night dive...

    Oh wait...

    Those guys actually released two demos using Unity then Unreal4 engines themselves@!

  31. Mattmattic

    Magic Leap

    Magic Leap seems to be a modern day version of the South Sea Bubble.

    It's a pity that, 300 years later, these whizz-bang sure fire winners are still suckering investors.

    Alphabet and the others should have invested their money more wisely. In outfits with actual products.

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