Augmented reality startup Magic Leap, which raised half a billion dollars last year in a funding round led by Google, has given the first glimpse of what its technology is capable of.

A video released by Magic Leap on YouTube demonstrates how apps and desktop icons can be brought out from a screen and controlled by a user's hand to check things like email in 3D.

The first-person video goes on to show how the technology can be used to create an immersive shooter game that uses physical weapons to fight virtual robot enemies.

"Unfortunately, we couldn't make it to TED, but we wanted to share one of the things that we'd planned to share at the talk," the YouTube video's caption reads.

"This is a game we're playing around the office right now (no robots were harmed in the making of this video)."

This is the first time Magic Leap has publicly released a demonstration of its technology since Google led a $542m series B funding round in October 2014.

Magic Leap has previously been deliberately enigmatic about what exactly it is that it does, revealing little more than the fact it revolves around "cinematic reality" and involves a new technology called Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signal - or Digital Lightfield.

The firm's about page on its website plays on this air of mystery, stating: "We know what you're thinking: 'Who the heck are we? What is this all about? Why aren't you saying anymore?' And you're right, we need to say a little more about what it is we're creating.

"So What is Magic Leap? Magic Leap is an idea."