Florida Patent of the Month – August 2021

Augmented reality (AR) involves displaying images laid over reality. These images are viewed through AR headsets that allow users to see and interact with the virtual environment. Magic Leap, Inc. is a startup company that released a head-mounted virtual retinal display, called Magic Leap One, which superimposes 3D computer-generated imagery over real world objects. Recently, they have developed an improved eyepiece for their system to further enhance the use of AR.

The eyepiece uses a waveguide to propagate light and diffract optical elements. The eyepiece is designed with three layers, one for each primary color (red, blue, yellow) and helps in the diffraction of light. The projector projects light onto an “incoupling grating” on the eyepiece layer. This grating then couples the image light from the projector with the waveguide. The diffractive optical element has ridges laid out in just such a way that it can diffract light propagating in the waveguide towards the user’s eye. At the same time, it can diffract a second portion of light away from the eye. This allows the device to project an image to the viewer’s eye. Magic Leap Inc. continually focuses on expanding the world of AR through novel and innovative technologies.

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