Magic Leap Assigned a Design Patent – Not Describing What Their Glasses will be Looking Like

Magic Leap, the heavy hitter of attracting investment money, has received its first design patent describing a pair of virtual reality glasses in their US patent D795952 simply named “Virtual Reality Glasses”. A long list of publications picked up on this topic as a first glimpse of a potential VR headset from Magic Leap. To be fair most of them do report that Magic Leap basically said that these are not the glasses they will be making.

Magic Leap – Design Patent D795952

Looking at the image of the potential VR headset it becomes pretty clear that this won’t change the realm of VR headsets. More interesting is that this design patent was actually granted on August 29, 2017 with an application date of September 2, 2015. Surely, a lot of things have changed since then. Nevertheless, this is the first and only published design patent from Magic Leap. Of course, the patent is accompanied by 14 granted US patents as well as 268 patent applications! This activity is certainly a hint where a good portion of money is going.

The patent applications are pretty wide spread and cover a broad range of topics including, of course, display-related issues. Judging by the titles of the patent applications Magic Leap is working on light field displays with a multitude of image planes to create a better 3D display system. But there are also patent applications covering the user interaction and issues that exist with AR, VR, and MR systems and how to overcome them.

There are also patents dealing with variable depth of focus and planar waveguides. In general, they cover all the topics every AR / VR hardware developer has to deal with.

A little surprising is the multitude of patent applications dealing with medical topics around the human vision system. It can be assumed that by researching on how to make a better VR headset they also have to deal with people showing some form of vision impairment and as a result they found a way on how to diagnose such issues.

Analyst Comment

Patents and patent applications are certainly not a good way to judge the technical and design strategy of a company, especially one that does not want to go public at the moment with their potential product. However, if this company has attracted such a substantial amount of investment as Magic Leap, analysts will look at any way to find something out about them and patent applications are one potential source that is easily accessible by all people. So far, this analysis has not proved to be a good way to predict the first Magic Leap headset. Still, these applications give an idea on how the company has developed and at what time they worked on which topics. (NH)