A patent for Magic Leap's virtual reality headset has been spotted in the wild. Unlike most of the VR and AR headsets we've seen, the filing posted on the US Patent and Trademark Office shows a device that looks more like a helmet than a pair of goggles.
Given the lookalike nature of the virtual reality headsets currently on the market – perhaps with the exception of the Microsoft HoloLens – it's nice to see Magic Leap taking a unique approach. The headset features a visor-like section that fits over your face, which is linked to a size adjuster at the back to keep it in place. Sadly, there's no description of what it does or how it works – other than being a VR headset, that is.
The patent was filed with the USPTO on 14 May 2015 and approved yesterday, 7 June. Given Magic Leap's super-secretive nature, it's a particular exciting find for tech enthusiasts: we know the company is busy working on various bits of augmented and virtual reality technology, which we've garnered from various video demos it's uploaded to YouTube and elsewhere. Evidence of hardware, however, remains tantalisingly scarce.
At the same time, Andy Fouche, Magic Leap's vice president of public relations, was quick to point out to Mashable that the patent drawings look "not at all what our final product will look like," plunging its VR headset back into mystery.
If nothing else, the patent at least gives us some idea what the company has been working on. And, given the enthusiastic backing from the likes of Google, Alibaba and Warner Bros, Magic Leap's clearly doing something we should be keeping an eye out for.
When we'll see Magic Leap's final product is anybody's guess, but you can bet your VR-strained eyes that we'll be on hand with any further details once we have them.