On Tuesday, a new set of drawings of upcoming smartglasses from startup Magic Leap surfaced from the company’s patent application, originally filed in 2015. The drawings show a skinny design with oval frames similar to goggles, with sensors on each side of the headset. The drawings do not represent Magic Leap’s final product, according to Magic Leap spokesperson Julia Gaynor.
“As you know, we file lots of patents that take a long time to get approved and so what you are looking at is not our product,” she said, speaking to Business Insider.
However, other sources have told Business Insider that the drawings are indeed similar to the company’s current design for the smartglasses, although the real hardware is bulkier with a depth sensor in between the lenses. Another source who has seen current schematics said the glasses have one camera in each arm, instead of the two illustrated in the patent filing. The source said they are “thick-rimmed like hipster glasses,” but the arms are bulkier.
Magic Leap is leading the push towards augmented reality technology, which uses cameras and advanced computing to integrate graphics into a real world environment. Companies such as Apple and Google, which has invested in Magic Leap, have released software to provide AR on mobile devices, but many in the industry believe that smartglasses are the best way to utilize AR technology.
Investors who were given demos this past spring said the glasses were smaller than modern VR headsets, yet larger and bulkier than other smartglasses such as Snapchat’s Spectacles. The product was described as similar to swim goggles but with somewhat larger lenses.
Demo models were connected to a wearable battery pack about the size of two stacked smartphones, and another wearable unit containing the GPU and CPU, roughly the size of a portable CD player. This can be worn on the belt, while the battery can be held in a pocket.
Magic Leap has declined to comment on whether the product would support Google’s AR software, called ARcore, released Tuesday.
“As you know we are building full stack computing — hardware, software, content, etc,” says Gaynor.
Magic Leap has raised 1.4 billion dollars from a list of investors that includes Google, Alibaba, and KPCB. They have yet, however, to release a product or distribute development hardware to software companies. According to the Financial Times earlier this year, the company is still aiming to release their smartglasses in 2017.
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