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Hagenberg graduate draws attention to Facebook founders with app

Hagenberg graduate draws attention to Facebook founders with app

OÖ / HAGENBERG. Dominic Hackl, a graduate of the University of Hagenberg, wants to use his app”magic keys“Helping others learn to play the piano. The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, also became aware of it through his innovative approach.

The video, in which Hackl demonstrates his app for learning to play the piano, was presented to an international audience of millions at the “Facebook Connect” conference at Mark Zuckerberg’s presentation. With the Magic Keys app, the user sees a virtual plane as well as the real environment through virtual reality glasses, where the notes to be played are displayed – directly on the piano keyboard and in real time.

Promotion and attention

With Zuckerberg’s lecture, the Hagenberg University of Applied Sciences graduate also received financial support from Meta (formerly Facebook) and a lot of attention. “At first I couldn’t believe the people at Facebook discovered my app and liked it so much. It gave me a lot of motivation and affirmation,” said the 26-year-old from Bad Zell.

The initial support and funding encouraged Hackl to quit his job as a game developer, work full time on developing his app, and start a startup. After months of fine tuning, a public beta version of the app is now available.

To use Magic Keys, you need special glasses (Meta Quest VR glasses) and of course a piano or keyboard. The full version of Magic Keys will be available for download and sale on the Oculus Store in 2023.

“I’ve been an avid pianist since I was a kid”

Hackl had the idea for Magic Keys while studying software engineering at Hagenberg. “I’ve been a passionate pianist since I was a kid, so I came up with this idea as soon as I got involved in virtual reality for the first time,” says the developer. Positive feedback from professors and testers prompted him to continue tinkering. Beginning in the fall, Hackl will also participate in Linz’s start-up tech2b incubator “Activate” program with Magic Keys.

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Getting more people to play piano is a priority for Hackl: “I think the app has the potential to give people of all ages and all over the world a very easy start. And if people leave the app after a while and look for a piano teacher, I definitely achieved my goal,” he says. Huckle.

Virtual Reality

Using virtual reality (VR) technology, users can immerse themselves in an artificial world. This requires output devices such as virtual reality glasses or large screens. Users have a spatial impression, as different images are fed to both eyes. This feeling of being part of a virtual world is referred to as immersion, or the “immersive experience.” There is a difference in what is called augmented reality (AR). Digital elements are integrated with the real world. With AR displays, users can look at the sky through their smartphone and see the names of the constellations displayed on the screen. A well-known example of augmented reality is Pokemon Go.

The sticking point with these technologies is the cost. Output devices usually cost hundreds of euros, including the Meta Quest VR glasses.