Magic Leap New Patent Applications

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Just some quick notes to let my readers know I am in the process of digesting some new Magic Leap Patent Applications that were published last week. There are several related applications, but the most interesting one was US20180052277 MULTI-LAYER DIFFRACTIVE EYEPIECE. This application is 272 pages long, and I have only had time to flip through it, so this is all preliminary information, so I am mostly going off the figures.

For those that have been reading about Magic Leap on this blog, there should be zero surprises. Some key things in applications:

  1. They are using field sequential color LCOS Microdisplays
  2. They are using a six-layer diffractive waveguide (essentially two Microsoft Hololens waveguides stacked on top of each other)
  3. They appear to be using the waveguide/LCOS/LED-Selection method this blog pegged as their most likely configuration back in 2016 in articles Magic Leap – Separating Magic and Reality and Magic Leap: Focus Planes (Too) Are a Dead End  
  4. They showed a lot of detail as to what is inside their headset.
  5. Of course, no fiber scanning display

Figure 20 in the application spells out that they are using an LCOS device and field sequential color operation is shown.

The set of figures below shows that they are using a six-layer diffractive waveguide (two planes times one waveguide for each of red, green, and blue). These figures confirm the information in both the blog articles above and what I wrote in January of 2018.

The only seriously new information is the details the patent applications gives on what is inside the headset. The application is obviously at least one generation back from the MLO headset that has been released. There are a lot of details on the hardware that is included in the headset. One should be warned that Magic Leap may not have included everything that they are doing in the application or some features could have been dropped since the application was filed.

As I wrote last week in Magic Leap One – FOV and Tunnel Vision, I find it concerning how much of the real world is blocked out by the  Magic Leap One.the real world. So I decided to build on 3-D model “view simulator” that simulates light path and the amount of light blocking of the real world with the Magic Leap One. Below is my 3-D printed headset.

I built this model before I found out about the patent applications with the exploded views, based on the earlier Magic Leap design patents and their figures. The critical thing was to capture the “view tunnel” between the eyes and the real world.

Wearing the headset, I discovered many human factor issues (you learn a lot by doing). I will be discussing these problems in a future article about the model.




Karl Guttag
Karl Guttag
Articles: 244


  1. 1m and 3m are the focal depths – which means the “far” depth is about the same as the standard hololens depth.

    That’s dissapointing for many people watching – it rules out the ML for outdoor applications and in doing so means it wont be any more use for defense, eSports (think virtual paintball) or industrial outdoor applications than a hololens, even if the lighting is right.

    Hopefully the next version adds a plane further out, at ~10m+

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