April 21, 2021

Manipulate light with a simple gesture

Lifelike created a Magic Leap application for Philip Hue together with Brussels.Medialab.

Manipulate light with a simple gesture

The goal of the project is to develop an application for emerging Mixed Reality and Philips Hue smart lights. The application connects the digital interface as seen on the Magic Leap display and the physical world by controlling smart lights.

Magic Leap mixed reality glasses is a new technology opening up a variety of used cases for business partners and consumers. This application shows a range of opportunities when Mixed Reality smart glasses are linked to the real world, here using Philips Hue smart lights. At the time the application was demonstrated at the opening event of the Medialab.Brussels, many users were intrigued by using a digital mixed reality interface to control real lights.

In the near future, Mixed Reality devices will become more advanced and the possibilities of domestic appliances with Mixed Reality and spatial computing are beyond imagination.

Magic Leap - Mixed Reality Device

Natural input

The application uses the magic leap controller andhand gestures to interact with lights. The magic leap controller is a smallhandheld device with three buttons and a round touchpad. The magic leap handscanning capabilities allow hand gestures and interaction based on handmovement. There are six ways by which the user can control smart lights insidethe application: the first three use the controller and the last three use handtracking and gestures.

Hand gesture control

The user focuses the Magic Leap device on a smartlight and … HERE WE GO!

Let’s go for some COLOUR PICKING first!
The Magic Leap device displays a hologram of hovering coloured balls around thelight. The user swipes on the round touchpad of the Magic Leap controller tochoose a light. And… magic!

A CANDLE, anyone?
A little flame representing brightness is projected on top of the smart light.The user swipes up and down on the Magic leap controller …. And, candle magic!

Some romance? LESS BRIGHTNESS? No problem!
By aiming the controller at a smart light and pressing the trigger, a lightball gets sucked out of the lamp and flies towards the controller. Yes, magic!But, there is more. The user can also turn the light back on by aiming thecontroller and pressing the trigger again to give the light back. A littlelight ball will shoot out of the controller and hit the lamp, turning it on.Again…. We are in for magic!
Light up the whole room? OK SIGN.
Just by using his hand the user turns on or off all smart lights in the room.All magic?

The user makes a fist and opens her/her hand to make the light go on or off. Superpower or magic?

Iron Man hand blast.

Finally, the Valentine heart as shown
by the director of Erasmus University, during the Opening Event of theMediaLab. By making a heart sign with both hands, Ms An Brussels turned all thelights into pink. Magic, indeed!


The application is built by using Unity, csharp programming language and theMagic Leap device. It is running on the custom Magic Leap operating systemLumin making it one of the first native application for the new Magic Leapplatform. The smart lights are Philips Hue lights connected by a smart PhilipsHue bridge controller. The Philips Hue API was used to send commands from theMagic leap device to the smart lights. The API is a responsive and initiativetool for creating applications and prototyping. The effects and animations areall custom built inside the Unity platform.

The Medialba Brussels is an inspiring environment for students, experts,entrepreneurs and artists. In the medialab state of the art videos and photoscan be created by YOU! There is a chromakey, light installation, cameras,motion capture suits and 3D scanners. Apart from that you can also find thelastest XR-headsets.

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