Magic Leap reveals plans for a second-generation AR headset
Three years after finally launching its debut augmented reality headset, Magic Leap has outlined plans for a follow-up. The announcement comes as the startup reveals a fresh round of funding to the tune of US$500 million, and continues a shift toward the enterprise market.
After much mystery, years of teasers and a whole lot of hype, Magic Leap launched its One Creator Edition headset in 2018 for select customers at a price of $2,295. Like other augmented reality headsets such as the Microsoft HoloLens, Magic Leap's technology lays computer graphics over the top of the real world, with users interacting with that mixed reality through a headset powered by a small unit worn on the waist.
In the time since it started rolling out that first headset, Magic Leap has endured a rocky road on the business side of things. It was moved to cut half of its jobs, laying off around 1,000 employees as the impact of the pandemic took hold last year, and began to focus its attention on the enterprise market rather than delivering a consumer product.
Despite the discordance between the hype around AR and actual practical benefits of the technology, Magic Leap is continuing this push into the world of enterprise applications with a new CEO at the helm – Microsoft's former VP of Business Development Peggy Johnson. The company says the further $500 million in funding and new valuation of around $2 billion will advance these efforts, and assist the roll-out of its second-generation product Magic Leap 2.
As was the case with the original, details are scarce on this forthcoming headset, though Magic Leap says it will feature an increased field of view and first-of-a-kind dimming functionality for use in bright settings. It is also claimed that Magic Leap 2 will be the smallest and lightest AR headset designed for enterprise adoption, and is built so that "you can put on your head in the morning and wear all day long."
The company says it is now working to bring Magic Leap 2 to market with general availability slated for 2022.
Source: Magic Leap