Interview: How Magic Leap makes AR app Tonandi "amazing"

Shacknews spoke to Magic Leap about the processes that go into making its upcoming app Tonandi remarkable no matter where it's played.


Icelandic band Sigur Rós are working with tech start-up Magic Leap on a new AR experience called Tonandi, which looks to combine new music recorded by the band that users can manipulate by way of wearing a Magic Leap One headset.

Shacknews chatted with Tonandi creative and technical leads Mike Tucker and Stephen Mangiat about the experience for Magic Leap and the difficulty that comes along with putting together interactive experiences like this one.

"It's challenging, first and foremost. You have no idea where people are going to play your game. It could be a small studio apartment in Brooklyn or a four-bedroom house out in suburbia. It has to be an amazing experience wherever they play it. Trying to design for all those situations was probably the most difficult thing we ran into," said Tucker.

"There are things like hand tracking, eye tracking, spatial sound – all these new features. It's really exciting to start playing with those," added Mangiat.

The app features surreal creatures that float around called "sound spirits" and it's described as a place where "spatial sounds are visible all around you and ready to respond to every interaction." If you know Sigur Rós, you know you can expect a cavalcade of soothing and sometimes hallucinogenic interactions, so you'll definitely want to keep an eye out for Tonandi when it's finally available.

Check out the interview above for more of what the upcoming app has to offer, as well as other cool developer insights into what it can do. But don't think that's the end of our coverage, not by a long shot. We've got plenty of other cool stuff on offer for you to check out, too.

For more developer interviews and games industry convention highlights, check out all of the great videos featured on both the GamerHubTV and Shacknews pages over on YouTube.

Senior Editor

Fueled by horror, rainbow-sugar-pixel-rushes, and video games, Brittany is a Senior Editor at Shacknews who thrives on surrealism and ultraviolence. Follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake and check out her portfolio for more. Like a fabulous shooter once said, get psyched!

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