Revealed at Last: Magic Leap's Vision for Augmented Reality
J Thoendell stashed this in Oculus
Magic Leap believes the future of user interface will come in the form of ordinary objects imbued with virtual, interactive powers. Described as “Totems,” these are tangible objects that combine physical craftsmanship and computational projection. Virtual worlds and physical objects are melded in the wearer’s retina. Put another way, with Magic Leap UI buttons are in the eye of the beholder.
The simplest embodiment of this concept is a “computer mouse,” which could actually be any block of plastic, wood, metal, or glass. Rather than relying on sensors built into the device, front-facing cameras on the Magic Leap headset could theoretically track any piece of material that’s been defined as a “mouse.” The Magic Leap headset would constantly be plotting it’s position, direction, distance, speed, and acceleration while feeding those cues back to the augmented reality display.
Another illustration from the patent document shows a keyboard made from a soft rubber that would deform and provide haptic feedback while the head mounted display overlaid images of the characters on it in the user’s eye.
Some of the totem concepts are more elegant. Illustrations show wearers using the popular pinch to zoom gesture to create a “screen” on an odd-sized piece of metal. The concept is described in detail here: “The totem may simply provide a physical surface, and the AR system may render a user interface so as to appear to a user to be on one or more surfaces of the totem. For instance, the AR system may render a virtual computer keyboard and virtual trackpad to appear on a surface of a thin rectangular plate of aluminum which serves as a totem.”
Sounds like Back to the Future II meets Minority Report...
So what I'm hearing loud and clear is that this is still in the conceptual phase.
Way to crank up the hype machine, Magic Leap.
[insert Shia Labeouf magic gif]
The publication date is 18 months after filing, which may be up to a year after the provisional application. To maintain the provisional priority date, nothing of consequence can be changed. So, they may have been in this conceptual phase as long as 2.5 years ago. That's a long time, especially if you have serious investment.
Well the serious investment only came last year.
So they likely came up with the idea 3-4 years ago and prototyped something 1-2 years ago.
Now we're post-investment which is why they decloaked about this.
Time to attract some engineers who can actually build something!
What they wrote there was probably conceived of in that form just a bit more than 2.5 years ago, or less if they filed the patent quickly, could be as little as 18 months. Since I'm working on filing a provisional patent, I just thoroughly read a couple of my books on patents. Unless you forgo international patents, your patent filing is published 18 months after you file. They likely didn't decloak, it was just time for the patent to be published. Provisional patents never get published unless referred to by a full patent filing. They are good for establishing the priority date for the patent, if the full patent is filed referencing it and not changing much within one year. As soon as you have the idea, you should file the provisional patent asap. We are now also first to file, so something has to be filed first to win.
I still think there's a good chance they won't come up with anything useful.