Magic Leap announces the next version of its flagship device
Magic Leap was among the earliest entrants in the AR/MR space, launching in the early 2000s. However, it spent most of its early years in stealth mode, teasing a sophisticated augmented reality device that would be unveiled as Magic Leap 1 in 2018. While it wasn’t an outright commercial success, Magic Leap 1 had a lot going for it, including its sleek, ergonomic form factor and rather natural user experience. What put off several interested buyers was the device’s formidable price point, which placed it outside the reach of not only prosumers but also several small-to-mid-sized businesses.
Now, in April of 2021, Magic Leap has announced the next version of its flagship device – the Magic Leap 2.
Magic Leap 2 comes at a pivotal juncture in the company’s journey. Despite raising $350 million in 2020, the company suffered major losses across the year and its valuation dipped by a staggering 93% ($450 million, down from $6.4 billion). There were large-scale layoffs and eventually, then-CEO Rony Abovitz stepped down.
Now, as Microsoft and Qualcomm alumni, Peggy Johnson takes the reins as the new CEO and announces the Magic Leap 2, do brighter days lie ahead? Let us review the specs we know so far, and find out.
Magic Leap is the company’s eponymous AR headsets, originally meant for both consumer and enterprise use. Magic Leap also provides prebuilt solutions for your specific use cases in manufacturing, healthcare, 3D visualisation, collaboration, and more. You could think of Magic Leap as a cross between barebones AR glasses and full-fledged VR headsets in terms of form factor, and Leap 2 follows these aesthetic principles.
Here are its key features:
Despite an underwhelming market response, there’s no denying that Leap 1 was among the most comfortable and user-centric headsets of its time. Admittedly, it lacked the muscle power of providers like Microsoft, which is why Magic Leap lost out on the $22 billion deal with the US Department of Defense. Nevertheless, enterprise AR is now a massive market with plenty of opportunities – the new Leap 2 with its best-in-class UX could definitely revive the company’s growth trajectory.
Magic Leap 2 is scheduled for limited release in 2021 Q4, and GA in 2022 Q1. Leap 1 was priced at upwards of $2200, so Leap 2’s pricing will definitely have a role to play in adoption.