The mysterious augmented reality company, Magic Leap, was recently awarded a patent containing images that some reports suggested represent the final design for its future headsets. A source within the company refutes these conclusions, stating the patent images are “not at all” indicative of what the final product will be.
Magic Leap is one of the most fascinating augmented reality companies on the planet today, and it is also one of the most mysterious. The Florida-based company has reportedly been valued at $4.5 billion on the strength of its allegedly revolutionary technology that uses light fields to overlay digital images on top of the physical world. The results may look something like this:
This video claims to have been “shot directly through magic leap technology” and yet, outside of a very privileged few, no one has any idea what this miracle system even looks like. More than a few other news outlets suggested the knowledge drought was finally ending when this patent became public yesterday. The awarded patent is relatively sparse but does contains drawings for a proposed headset design.
It may be hand-drawn, black and white, and lacking in significant detail but this photo was thought by many to be the wider world’s first glimpse at what Magic Leap is working on. To us, this looks just like any other AR helmet and seems to be following a design philosophy similar to Microsoft’s HoloLens or the Meta 2.
According to Andy Fouché, the Vice President of Public Relations at Magic Leap, the disparity here is due to the fact that the above device is not what the company’s final headset will look like.
“This is part of our R&D and experience validation. It’s not at all what our product will look like,” Fouché told UploadVR.
This is not a huge surprise, patents are filed for concepts all the time that don’t resemble a finished product, but the lack of information about Magic Leap is leading some outlets is leading some outlets to jump to conclusions. Unfortunately, it seems we will have to wait a bit longer to see what the real technology actually looks like.
In true Magic Leap fashion this reveal has left us with more questions than answers and does little to reassure the wider world that the mysterious organization’s eventual product will live up to the promises of its early videos. However, it is encouraging to know that the final product still has a chance to be more revolutionary in its design than what these patent images have led some others to believe.