There's certainly no shortage of people wondering just what Magic Leap has been up to since scoring huge investments, including one from Google, and making their company's value soar. A mysterious TedXTalk and the recruitment of some developers gave us hints, but all we really knew at that point was that they were involved in virtual and augmented reality. A lawsuit, likewise, revealed that the company was somehow involved in artificial intelligence centering on robotics. A new patent gives us a glimpse into just what kind of plans make such a mysterious company with no commercial products worth roughly $4.5 billion.
The patent at hand here is a headset. There do not appear to be any cameras on the front of the headset, though they could be hidden or have the lens embedded somewhere in the front surface. Likewise, the whole front surface could be one giant lens piece, with the actual lens and other camera goodies somewhere underneath, though if they are present, they don't seem to be visible from the pictures of the inside of the headset. The futuristic headset gives off a definite cyberpunk vibe, looking extremely slick and futuristic. The design language may give us a bit of a hint as to Magic Leap's company culture and the image they'll want to show to the public once they begin releasing commercially available products. As well as looking very cyberpunk, the headset looks incredibly comfortable, with padding and adjustments lurking about, as well as what looks to be a spacious and comfortable interior. The images do not give away whether or not something like Microsoft's nausea-preventing SparseLight VR is in use, but there is certainly room for such a thing. A curious array of what looks to be lenses and mirrors seems to be on the inside as well, hinting at a new way of achieving a realistic VR perspective.
While Magic Leap has yet to release any details about the headset themselves, the patent here says quite a bit. The headset will support VR and possibly AR, will be extremely comfortable and will sport a look that's entirely unique in today's market. While the build quality and materials are still a mystery, the headset design seems to suggest either a PC-based or a standalone headset, which would likely mean that it will command a decent amount of money. Magic Leap could, of course, flip the stereotype of the expensive standalone VR unit on its head in much the same way that the Eny EVR01 did, though we're likely to see some much better specs on the internal hardware, if Magic Leap does take this approach.