Augmented reality card routine

MagicPeaceLove sez, "'Virtual Magician' Marco Tempest is a pioneer in fusing the magical with the technological and he blows it out of the water with this augmented card routine recently posted at TED. The routine is an updated version of a classic called 'Sam the Bellhop,' in which a clever narrative story follows random cards dealt face-up one-by-one from a shuffled deck. Tempest, however, spins a much more poetic narrative and the augmented reality element is a wonder to behold."

Marco Tempest tells the secret story of a deck of cards (Thanks, MagicPeaceLove)


  1. The problem I have with his routines is that he isn’t that good a magician. What he’s doing in the real world is fairly simple; the AR overlays are cute applications but are also relatively simple as AR goes since he doesn’t need to allow for unconstrained interaction. Yeah, putting them together is a cute concept but I’m just not as impressed by him as the TED team seems to be.

    1. You say Marco “isn’t that good a magician”?  I am a professional magician and have won the highest awards obtainable in my craft, and have to disagree with your statement.  Marco is a brilliant magician who will be remember for his unique approach to our ancient craft.

      1.  PAH! I am an ancient sorcerer of the Hermetic tradition and I’ve been recognized as a master by wizards throughout the 5 planes, and I say he’s just pretending to do tricks while a prerecorded video plays on the screen.

  2. I watch TED on Netflix a few times a week, and Marco Tempest is one of my 3-4 favorite presenters.  This card trick was stunning when I thought it was ‘original’, but it’s no less stunning now that I know it’s an adaptation. That is, assuming the “augmented” view through the goggles isn’t actually previously recorded and played back for the audience as if it was happening now.  After all, only Marco can see what’s really happening on the table, right?  Nah – I’d rather believe it’s real!

  3. I’m pretty sure the number of spots on a deck of cards is going to be divisible by 4, which rules 365 out however you count them.

    He’s pulling that number from the old “Deck of Cards” devotional routine, which only works if you count the jacks as 11, the queens as 12, the kings as 13 — and the joker as one last spot. But his deck has two jokers. ;)

  4. I am seeing this for the first time today and thought it was pretty cool. Of all the places where AR will intersect with our lives, I think I am most excited to see where and how it evolves in the Arts. Art work has always been a place of magic and fantasy and it is going to be awesome to see how AR works it’s way into and out of the gallery.

    1. Same here. I was amazed, all while thinking that this kind of entertainment is still very much in development.

  5. This is about as impressive as Patrick Stewart doing the old “Computer!  Magnify… and Enhance!” trick on Star Trek.

  6. Really? . I’m not even a magician, but the obvious fake cuts and *laughably* obvious fake shuffles that are all designed to keep the deck in its original pre-arranged sequence – also obvious since it wasn’t in card/suit order when he started the trick – are pretty unimpressive even to my untrained eye. I’m actually surprised that a bunch of bad sleight of hand combined with some mediocre cgi tricks is something Cory considers interesting enough to post, nevermind the “blows it out of the water” comment

    So yeah, props to him for being a pioneer in this combination genre, but amazing it isn’t

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