Trademarks

Trademarks filed by Magic Leap (dug up by Reddit user Fastidiocy) confirm that the company is interested in light-field technology. In February, 2014, the company applied for a Trademark on the term ‘DDLS’. “Wearable computer hardware, namely, an optical display system incorporating a dynamic digital lightfield display,” reads the application.

Among the company’s 36 trademark applications are many references to comic books, specifically relating to what sounds like augmented reality functionality. “Comic books enhanced with specialized covers; graphic novels enhanced with specialized covers,” reads one of the applications.

“Imagine if the imagination could imagine” is probably the zaniest among the trademark applications, along with the company’s oft-used phrases, “Cinematic Reality,” “A Rocketship for the Mind,” and what sounds like an app store for their hardware called “The Magic Shop.”

Patents

magic leap patents

The company has also applied for several patents relating to head mounted displays, virtual reality, and augmented reality. It’s here that we pick up significant hints about AR applications of the tech, especially with the discussion of a transparent display; “…the projection device being capable of assuming a substantially transparent state when no image is projected,” as one of the patent applications reads.

Here’s a sample of patents which may indicate what approach the company is taking to achieving its vision (dates are when the patent was filed).

March 14th, 2014 – Display System and Method

One embodiment is directed to a user display device comprising a housing frame mountable on the head of the user, a lens mountable on the housing frame and a projection sub system coupled to the housing frame to determine a location of appearance of a display object in a field of view of the user based at least in part on at least one of a detection of a head movement of the user and a prediction of a head movement of the user, and to project the display object to the user based on the determined location of appearance of the display object.

SEE ALSO
Hands-on: CREAL is Shrinking Its Light-field Display for AR & VR Headsets

January 15th, 2014 – Ultra-high Resolution Scanning Fiber Display

One embodiment is directed to a compact system for scanning electromagnetic imaging radiation, comprising a first waveguide and a second waveguide, each of which is operatively coupled to at least one electromagnetic radiation source and configured such that output from the first and second waveguides is luminance modulated and scanned along one or more axes to form at least a portion of an image.

September 11th, 2013 – Ergonomic Head Mounted Display Device and Optical System

Optical systems such as image display systems include a freeform optical waveguide prism and a freeform compensation lens spaced therefrom by a gap of air or index cement. The compensation lens corrects for aberrations which the optical waveguide prism will introduce in light or images from an ambient real-world environment. The optical waveguide prism receives actively projected images at an entry location, and emits the projected images at an exit location after internally reflecting the images along an optical path therein. The image display system may include an image source and coupling optics. The approach permits design of an optical viewing device, for example in optical see-through HMDs, achieving an eyeglass-form appearance and a wide see-through field of view (FOV).

November 23rd, 2012 – Three Dimensional Virtual and Augmented Reality Display System:

A system may comprise a selectively transparent projection device for projecting an image toward an eye of a viewer from a projection device position in space relative to the eye of the viewer, the projection device being capable of assuming a substantially transparent state when no image is projected; an occlusion mask device coupled to the projection device and configured to selectively block light traveling toward the eye from one or more positions opposite of the projection device from the eye of the viewer in an occluding pattern correlated with the image projected by the projection device; and a zone plate diffraction patterning device interposed between the eye of the viewer and the projection device and configured to cause light from the projection device to pass through a diffraction pattern having a selectable geometry as it travels to the eye.

SEE ALSO
Indie Dev Experiment Brings Google Lens to VR, Showing Real-time Text Translation

October 29th, 2012 – System and Method for Augmented and Virtual Reality

One embodiment is directed to a system for enabling two or more users to interact within a virtual world comprising virtual world data, comprising a computer network comprising one or more computing devices, the one or more computing devices comprising memory, processing circuitry, and software stored at least in part in the memory and executable by the processing circuitry to process at least a portion of the virtual world data; wherein at least a first portion of the virtual world data originates from a first user virtual world local to a first user, and wherein the computer network is operable to transmit the first portion to a user device for presentation to a second user, such that the second user may experience the first portion from the location of the second user, such that aspects of the first user virtual world are effectively passed to the second user.

October 1st, 2012 – Tactile Glove for Human-computer Interaction

One embodiment is directed to a system for human-computer interface, comprising an input device configured to provide two or more dimensions of operational input to a processor based at least in part upon a rubbing contact pattern between two or more digits of the same human hand that is interpreted by the input device. The input device may be configured to provide two orthogonal dimensions of operational input pertinent to a three-dimensional virtual environment presented, at least in part, by the processor. The input device may be configured to detect the rubbing between a specific digit in a pen-like function against one or more other digits. The input device further may be configured to detect the rubbing between the specific digit in a pen-like function and one or more other digits in a receiving panel function.

SEE ALSO
Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 Now Available for Direct Developer Purchase

May 7th, 2012 – Massive Simultaneous Remote Digital Presence World

Various methods and apparatus are described herein for enabling one or more users to interface with virtual or augmented reality environments. An example system includes a computing network having computer servers interconnected through high bandwidth interfaces to gateways for processing data and/or for enabling communication of data between the servers and one or more local user interface devices. The servers include memory, processing circuitry, and software for designing and/or controlling virtual worlds, as well as for storing and processing user data and data provided by other components of the system. One or more virtual worlds may be presented to a user through a user device for the user to experience and interact. A large number of users may each use a device to simultaneously interface with one or more digital worlds by using the device to observe and interact with each other and with objects produced within the digital worlds.


We’ve reached out to Magic Leap leap for comment, but unsurprisingly they did not provide anything substantive. We’ll be continuing to watch Magic Leap closely.

Should we believe the hype?

1
2
3

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.


  • I’ve been trying to dig up information all day about Magic Leap… Should have checked here first. The potential of what they’re talking about sounds incredible. After reading the patent descriptions you posted above I’m convinced it’s going to be something truly spectacular. It would have to be pretty convincing to attract a 500m investment from Google.

    Thanks for posting!

    • Ben Lang

      Don’t forget, we don’t have any confirmation or corroboration of the claim that there’s a $500m round on the table, just one unsourced report. Though it would be awesome if their tech is as great as they are making it out to be.

  • elecman

    From NY Times (July 18, 2014):
    “…before creating Magic Leap in 2010, said that his system would even offer a resolution close to the power of the human eye”.

    I hope the tech can generate a FOV of 100+ degrees.

  • Joe Nickence

    Without anyone showing me anything, I’m not about to get all hyped up over this. I’m at the point where anything AR or immersively VR related, will be nothing but Snake Oil, as you said. “We’re waiting until it’s perfect before we release it to the public” simply sounds like “we have cool hi tech toys and you can’t play with them”.

    • cly3d

      You know your stuff Joe! :)

  • cly3d

    I’m skeptical. A lot of “Devine’s” lines sound like tele-evangelism. Yet of-course, something is surely in there if Google is looking at it.

    Meanwhile..>> “…Among the company’s 36 trademark applications are many references to comic books, specifically relating to what sounds like augmented reality functionality. “Comic books enhanced with specialized covers; graphic novels enhanced with specialized covers,” reads one of the applications.

    “Imagine if the imagination could imagine” is probably the zaniest among the trademark applications, along with the company’s oft-used phrases, “Cinematic Reality,” “A Rocketship for the Mind,” and what sounds like an app store for their hardware called “The Magic Shop.”

    Oh c’mon.. tell me this doesn’t sound like tele-evangelism and hyperbole!
    A patent for Graphic novels with specialized covers? if it’s “Magic Book” AR, then it’s been baked a long time ago.

    Hopefully, it’s something radically different and of a higher fidelity than Vuzix’s that you guys covered back in 2012? https://www.roadtovr.com/vuzix-smart-glasses-augmented-reality-glasses/

  • dvoshart

    After briefly skimming the patents it seems like it is a wide FOV google glass. However: the image projected to the eye is a light field image.

    This is awesome but the problems I see are:

    1: Computing power required to do light fields are pretty expensive. Hopefully they use the information from the z-buffer to create the light field. Even if this was the case the eyeball moves left and right you would pick up on the occusion artifacts.

    2.The next problem is that no device has been able to give sub 20ms latency for capturing scene information.

    3.And it appears that everything is additive. You can’t therefore black something out. This limit’s game design.

    • eturner

      Good points. But take another look at the patents and you’ll see they have a solution for #3 — one of their HMD patents describes a “mask LCD / mask display” that can selectively block out incoming light at specific X/Y offsets — this allows them to apply opacity against portions..or all…of the outside world

  • Noam

    It’s really funny reading todays headlines over the internet claiming that Google invests in “Magic Leap” to go head to head against Facebook’s “Oculus Rift”.

    This is bullshit.

    The Magic Leap solution is for augmented reality – they are using light field screen to be able to project 3D images on top of reality. This is something Google needs *badly* for their Google Glass to be a sucess (currently Google Glass can not project 3D images on top of reality, and this makes it a very low quality device for augmented reality).

    The novelty of Magic Leap is not using light field screens, but solving the low spatial resolution, that was an inherent problem for any light field screen created to date.

    To sum this up, Magic Leap is all about being able to do augmented reallity properly, which is what Google needs for their Glasses, it has nothing to do with complete virtual reality devices like the oculus rift, which do not try to augment reality in any way, rather re-create it entirely.

    • Snarl

      that’s not really correct … when they are able to mask the screen in real-time ( how awesome is that !! ) to block outside light.. you have a 100% rift replacement …(except that it is lighter and thinner and most probably more ) .. so a perfect VR AND AR device …

      vrtron.com