Magic Leap offers a glimpse into its headset design process

It's been awarded a design patent concerning a 'virtual reality headset,' but the company claims it's not indicative of the final hardware.

Magic Leap is an enigmatic augmented reality firm that's worth $4.5 billion on the basis of some very limited demonstrations. Now the firm has been awarded a design patent for a "virtual reality headset" that offers us some idea of what it's thinking. The company's Andy Fouché has already shot down the idea that this is what the finished device will look like, but there's plenty to glean. In a distinct contrast to Microsoft's slender Hololens, the sketch features a shell that covers the top half of the user's face. Robocop comparisons aside, the headset is then held on with a solid strap running over the top of their head.

As you can see from the internal view, two eyepieces protrude forward, although it's not clear if the shell is transparent or not. If not, then the shell will need some sort of aperture, since CEO Rony Abovitz says that the technology uses "wafer-like" components that manages "the flow of photons" to create a "digital light-field signal" in your eyes. Which sounds exactly like the sort of buzzfeed-filled jargon you use when you don't want to tell people how your device works. Given how much money respected investors, such as Google, Qualcomm, Warner Bros. and Alibaba, have put in to the business, presumably there's something very real behind all the fluff.