What just happened? Remember all the hype surrounding Magic Leap, the AR firm that somehow raised $3 billion in funding for its consumer headset? The device's launch was far from what the company and its investors were hoping for, but that hasn't stopped it from raising another $500 million in preparation to release a successor---the Magic Leap 2---next year.
The Magic Leap 2 is said to be the "smallest and lightest device built for enterprise adoption." The previous version of the headset, the Magic Leap One Creator Edition, launched in the US in August 2018 with a high price and limited field of view. The disappointing reception led to a name change---the Magic Leap 1---to increase adoption among enterprise customers.
The Magic Leap 2 is aimed at the same sector and will come with several improvements over its predecessor, including the ability to use it "all day, every day." It's easy to see how much bulk the company has shaved of the new model---it's now 20% lighter---which should make it a lot more comfortable.
The headset also features "segmented dimming" that dims the real-world background so AR content stands out more. It also boasts double the field of vision, better color fidelity, image quality, and text legibility compared to the original model.
@peggyj just revealed #MagicLeap2 on @CNBC - the industry's smallest and lightest device. Built for enterprise, it is more immersive and comfortable, with the largest FOV, and dimming - a first-to-market innovation enabling use in brightly lit settings. https://t.co/jSPUGd4P9N pic.twitter.com/LVpUX6YfcW--- Magic Leap (@magicleap) October 11, 2021
Magic Leap looked to be in a lot of trouble last year when it cut half its workforce, though the layoffs were paused after it secured $350 million in additional funding in May, the same month CEO Rony Abovitz stepped down. Veteran tech executive Peggy Johnson later replaced Abovitz. The chief executive posted a message marking her first year at the company that cites IDC data predicting the AR/VR market is expected to grow to nearly $140 billion by the end of 2024.
The Magic Leap 2 arrives next year for select customers as part of an early access program.