In the 21st century, magicians (like Simon Pierro and his iPad tricks) are often looking to technology to find new ways to amaze people with their magic. At tech conference/film & music festival SXSW, engineers are looking to magic to improve their own products, as showcased by an upcoming presentation by Laura Mingail entitled “Using Magician’s Tricks to Develop VR AR Content.”

Mingail is the Senior Director of Marketing and Business Development for Secret Location, an Emmy award-winning company building virtual and augmented reality experiences based on movies, video games, and even concerts. She’s also the granddaughter of Henry Gordon, a magician, skeptic, and recipient of the Order of Merlin in 2001. In her upcoming presentation, she will combine her roots in the magic world with her expertise in technological storytelling in a presentation that will reveal, according to the description, “how to use magicians’ tricks when storytelling in VR/AR, based on secret magic notes, and [her] experience in the VR/AR industry.” Magician Scott Wells will also be on hand to perform magic for the presentation, showcasing traditional uses for magic.

Registered SXSW goers will be able to attend the talk on Tuesday, March 13 at 5pm in the JW Marriott Salon 1-2. Registration for SXSW is still open, and you can find out more details here.

Correction: This article incorrectly referred to this event as a “panel”; it is actually a presentation specially crafted by Mingail to show how magic can be incorporated into VR and AR technology. We have updated the piece to reflect the distinction.

You may have heard the term “augmented reality” – AR for short – buzzing around as the new hot thing, and here’s your chance to see it in action. 19 Crimes features real-life criminals on its labels, and in a brilliant piece of marketing, uses AR to bring them to life on your phone. Download the app and point your phone at the label to hear these crooks tell their tales. 

It’s a clever gimmick to raise the profile of the Australian wines; upon conviction of one of the 19 crimes in question, a British prisoner would be sentenced to “punishment by transportation” and sent to Australia. It’s also a great example of how AR can turn something relatively simple into an extraordinary experience. Augmented reality has already started to make its way into the magic world to do things like change one card into another, but is it really magic if an app is doing the work? Share your opinions in the comments.