Magic Leap has not launched a product since its first augmented reality (AR), the Magic Leap One in August 2018. But the Florida-based startup is still alive. The company Monday announcement that it has raised $ 500 million in funding at an estimate of $ 2 billion. It plans to release the second-generation version of its AR headset, the Magic Leap 2 next year. The new product is already available to “selected customers” under an early access program, the company said. It will generally be available in 2022, although we still do not have an exact launch schedule.
“This investment is an important step in advancing Magic Leap’s mission to transform the way we work,” said CEO Peggy Johnson. “With the continued support of our existing investors, Magic Leap will have greater financial flexibility and the resources to continue our growth trajectory as we develop our industry-leading AR technology. “
Johnson joined Magic Leap as CEO in August of last year after a long career at Qualcomm and Microsoft, spanning more than three decades. Earlier in April, she revealed that the company was on track to launch the Magic Leap 2 in “limited quantity” later this year, followed by wider availability early next year. The last announcement essentially reiterates it.
In an interview with CNBC earlier this week, Johnson unveiled (Going through The edge) the Magic Leap 2 which, she says, is an “all day” device thanks to its smaller and lighter construction. It’s said to be the smallest and lightest AR headset in the industry to date. All of this while improving usability and functionality. The upcoming model doubles the field of vision compared to its predecessor. The company also promises improvements in “image quality, color fidelity and text readability”. A background dimming function facilitates digital viewing of AR content.
Johnson suggested that the Magic Leap 2 is tailor-made with feedback from client companies. The company hopes the device will “increase business adoption of AR.”
Magic Leap 2 focuses on business customers
Founded in 2010, Magic Leap has received funding from some of the biggest names in the tech industry. Over the past decade, companies like Google, Alibaba Group, and AT&T have all invested in the business. It reached a valuation of $ 6.4 billion in 2019.
However, Magic Leap failed to keep pace with the industry and by June 2020 its valuation had fallen to $ 450 million. The company laid off 1,000 employees last year as the coronavirus pandemic hit hard. Co-founder and CEO Rony Abovitz also left the company last July before Johnson took the helm.
Magic Leap has now shifted its business focus from consumers to enterprise solutions. The upcoming Magic Leap 2 is apparently made specifically for corporate clients. Time will tell if this half-billion-dollar AR headset is a hit.
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