The augmented reality (AR) market is heating up, with new and innovative ways to utilize AR in work and play, and with more enterprise customers jumping on board. From medical schools to engineering, architecture, and even military applications, the world of AR is rapidly expanding.
To meet this growing demand, Magic Leap has once again tossed its name in the AR hat as it were. Chances are, you’ve already picked up on some buzz about the new offering from Magic Leap, simply named Magic Leap 2 (ML2).
As select customers begin trialing ML2 through an early access plan, ahead of an early 2022 launch, now’s a good time to take a closer virtual look at this exciting new product launch.
Background Check – A Walk Down Magic Leap Memory Lane
Before we get into where Magic Leap is going with ML 2, let’s just check out where they are coming from. Founded in 2010 by Rony Abovitz, Magic Leap eventually brought out Magic Leap 1 (guess we can call it 1 now), in August 2018 as a breakthrough Mixed Reality headset.
The bottom line is it did nothing for the bottom line.
The first iteration of this innovative product just didn’t perform well. Let’s quickly clarify that. It didn’t perform well from a business success perspective. There were plenty of plaudits for the design, new tech, and user experience of Magic Leap. The consensus is that it wasn’t targeted correctly and that its pricing was wrong for the market at that time.
Enter Peggy Johnson as Magic Leap’s new CEO. Pivoting Magic Leap firmly toward Enterprise customers, and securing serious funding, Johnson seems ready to hit the market again with renewed confidence, and a new product to go along with it.
Magic Leap 2: Making The Leap
So, what exactly can Enterprise and Prosumers expect from the new leap in tech to ML 2? There are several key changes worth noting.
To start, the design has evolved since its first iteration, taking feedback on its size, which has now been reduced to nearly 50% smaller and 29% lighter than the original.
Next up is an improved field of view, boasting a 100% increase over its predecessor. We’ll get to that in a bit, but firstly let’s take a look at the remarkable claim that ML2’s “updated features, lend themselves to achieving our goal of all-day, everyday use…”, as made by CEO Johnson on the company’s official website. ML 1 had a battery life of 3 hours so, even if not yet fully all day, we should expect a dramatic and welcome increase in battery life.
The stats on the new design, 50% smaller, 20% lighter, make the Magic Leap 2 the lightest and smallest for enterprise devices in the market. Certainly, the more comfortable and more immersive experience will aid in gaining traction and establishing a competitive advantage. In the tough enterprise market battlefield, the genuinely heads-up and hands-free design makes ML 2 a key player.
More of an issue is the claim that Field of View has increased by 100%. This may well be true if, as suspected, it refers to 100% overall surface area. This increase in surface area may be mostly due to an increase in vertical Field of View and may still leave users with truncated horizontal vision. It’s likely though that there will still be an increase in horizontal FOV from 50 degrees to 55 degrees, a more modest yet nevertheless considerable achievement.
An exciting industry-first though, is the introduction of segmented dimming. This will allow for superior focus in brighter environments. ML 2 also promises greater color fidelity, text legibility, and enhanced image quality.
Looking Ahead – What Does the Future Hold for Magic Leap?
Magic Leap 2’s future certainly looks brighter with the latest design upgrades and new functionality focused firmly on a buoyant enterprise market. High interest can be expected from the healthcare, defense, and all manner of training-based companies and initiatives.
Peggy Johnson, however, remains confident that once Magic Leap 2 is firmly entrenched as a proven and successful business tool, that there will be an opportunity to switch more focus back toward the consumer market.
Pricing, which has yet to be confirmed, will inevitably be a key factor in the level of success Magic Leap 2 can achieve.
Only time will tell how this innovative next-generation AR headset will perform, but as of today, hopes are high that the Magic Leap 2 will wow enterprise customers away from the competition.