With cutting-edge VR equipment like the Oculus Rift now on the market, the excitement surrounding virtual reality is more intense than ever. But this new demo from Magic Leap suggests augmented reality is really where the future lies. 

The Florida-based startup has been raising money for their "mixed reality" technology for the past couple years, but the company had largely remained mysterious until recently. In their latest issue, WIRED features an in-depth profile of Magic Leap and takes a look at the latest technology they're testing.

The secret to the company's product is a high-tech lens, or what they refer to as a "photonics lightfield chip." Augmented reality works by layering 3D components into a user's immediate environment. In the case of Magic Leap, their chip is integrated with minuscule structures that are able to direct the flow of photons, creating a "digital lightfield signal" that creates the illusion of virtual objects in your surrounding space.

As you can see from the video above, the possibilities for application of the technology are wide open. Instead of checking the weather, reading emails, or chatting with loved ones on your smartphone, you could conjure up that same information on the desk in front of you via mixed reality. 

Microsoft has already demonstrated similar technology with their HoloLens. In a demo released last month, headset wearers can be seen using HoloLens to "holoport" in front of a user in a different room. And while we know what Microsoft's mixed reality visor looks like, Magic Leap has yet to unveil a prototype of their product. Until augmented reality becomes part of our actual reality, we'll have settle for watching Magic Leap's video on repeat—and using our imaginations.

Header/banner images courtesy of Magic Leap via YouTube

[h/t Verge]