My Pet Boris (the magic spider app) is the work of magician Ian Pidgeon from Sydney Australia.
Most people I know, myself included freak out when they walk into a spider web so you can pretty much guarantee a reaction to this trick.
First of all I would like to credit Jim Pace’s The Web from L&L Publishing as the inspiration for this effect. The Web can be purchased from your local magic dealer or online through L&L Publishing or most other Magic sites. L&L publishing own the rights to the original “The Web” effect and have authorized us to market this app.
While “The Web” is a magic trick using cards, My Pet Boris has a totally different presentation and is intended more as a prank that anyone could use.
It utilizes the smart phone as a familiar object that is endlessly fascinating to people instead of introducing it as a magic trick. The technology allows for video, animation and vibration that involves multiple senses and increased interest. People are always curious to see what new applications are being developed. This provides a powerful emotional hook.
The spider is an Australian Redback spider Latrodectus hasseltii a relative of the American Black Widow and are quite dangerous. He was released in my neighbor’s garden after filming.
I present this as a cool new smart phone app (app sold separately) that merges the spectators own body with computer generated images to create a form of augmented reality that is incredibly realistic.
I ask the spectator to hold out their hand so I can take a picture of their palm, secretly loading a plastic spider on the back of their hand, then place the phone on their palm and introduce Boris.
The animation and shadowing make it look like the spider is actually crawling across their hand. They can even feel him move because of the phone’s vibrator.
He stops a few times on his way across the hand and the magician pokes him to encourage him to continue.
I show how you can interact with Boris by sliding my finger under the phone to rub the spider’s back. Boris really seems to be between the phone and their hand. You could never do this in real life. Too dangerous with a poisonous spider.
Then I show how waving my hand over the proximity sensors on the phone make him come back. He runs back across the screen.
I take the phone back and ask them to try. When they wave their hand over the screen, they notice out of the corner of their eye, a realistic spider clinging to the back of their hand and they FREAK OUT!
That’s My Pet Boris!
NOTE: App sold separately.