AR headset maker Magic Leap shifts to enterprise focus

Mixed-reality startup to support 4 key areas: communication, collaboration and co-presence, 3D visualization, learn and assist, and location-based services.

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Magic Leap, a player in the mixed-reality landscape, announced a new enterprise suite of services, as well as an updated version of its Magic Leap One Creator Edition. 

The new edition, not so originally named Magic Leap 1, is really just a rebrand, but the Enterprise Suite presents new features that will help organizations engage in spatial computing, according to the press release

SEE: Cheat sheet: AR Tools from Apple: RealityKit and Reality Composer (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The initial Magic Leap One, released in 2018, was an augmented reality (AR) headset aimed at creative professionals and everyday users, reported CNET's Scott Stein. However, with a price tag at $2,295, this intended user base didn't seem like the best fit. 

This assertion was confirmed with the release of Magic Leap's sales numbers in early December, which revealed that the Magic Leap only sold 6,000 AR headsets in the first six months of launch—falling extremely short to CEO Rony Abovitz's initial goal of selling 100,000 Magic Leap One systems in that same period.

After such low sales, Magic Leap appears to be changing its audience, renaming the device to shift it from a creator-focused system to a business-focused system. 

With the onset of the newly named headset and Enterprise Suite features, Magic Leap bundled all of the new services and software together, with a $2,995 price tag, assumedly digestible for big business. 

The press release outlined the following the main features of the Enterprise Suite: 

  • Magic Leap 1, an updated version of Magic Leap One Creator Edition.
  • Two-year access to dedicated omnichannel support. 
  • Two-year access to Device Manager with enterprise-level support from Magic Leap. Device Manager lets authorized administrators control important aspects of working with Magic Leap 1, enabling them to configure and set up devices, view usage metrics, remotely distribute apps and updates, and remotely lock or wipe devices if needed.
  • Two-year access to a RapidReplace program, so you can get a new device quickly if you need one.
  • A two-year extended warranty to guarantee Magic Leap 1 always works as it should.

Spatial computing, or the convergence of AR, virtual reality (VR), mixed reality, and human reality, is coming to the enterprise. Magic Leap's headset, in particular, presents business applications across four key areas: Communication, collaboration and co-presence, 3D visualization, learn and assist, and location-based services, according to the release. 

Applications in each of these core areas are being developed by Magic Leap and its partners including Across Realities, Arvizio, Eon Reality, HyperLoop, Immersion Analytics, Immersiv, Minsar, Nomtek, Obsess, PTC, RoOomy, Spatial, Taqtile, Verses and VIM, the release said. 

"[The] announcement heralds the arrival of a new chapter for spatial computing with an advanced technology platform for enterprises across all industry sectors," said Omar Khan, Chief Product Officer at Magic Leap, in the release. 

Taking a Leap in four key areas 

1. Communication, collaboration and co-presence

In the next few months, Magic Leap will release Jump, a communication, collaboration and co-presence platform beta program, the release said. 

Jump will allow people who are either physically or digital present to collaborate on projects and meetings. This capability allows organizations to merge digital content and experiences with people in any location. 

For example, architects or real estate developers can walk through a 3D model of a neighborhood or building map during a brainstorming session, whether or not all the members of the meeting are physically present in the same room. Not only does this make collaboration more efficient, but it also reduces the cost of employee travel, according to the release. 

2. 3D visualization 

With 3D visualization, users are able to make insight-driven decision making with quick iteration. Magic Leap One can make visual models of anything from heavy machinery to convoluted datasets, the release said. 

The ability to visualize complex information and concepts in 3D can help teams glean valuable insights, form actionable plans, and create new ideas. For example, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies used this feature to visualize its various technologies and passenger systems, according to the release. 

3. Learn and Assist 

Learn and assist helps reskill and upskill employees via spatial computing. By conducting trainings in a spatial computing environment, employees are able to earn in a safe and cost-effective manner, the release said 

Production-line operators, for example, can be trained on new, complex assembly operations that they can practice in a digital environment. This practice could help create better speed and accuracy in daily operations, according to the release. 

4. Location-based experiences 

Magic Leap's location-based experiences feature allows users to bring the digital world into physical spaces and live events. For example, organizations could conduct pop-up experiences or permanent installations in museums, trade shows, sports venues, and college campuses, the release said. 

With spatial computing, companies can offer product purchases with an unlimited catalogue of inventory, digital product sampling, or unique entertainment spaces, the release added. 

For more, check out Your guide to mixed reality technology on ZDNet.

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Image: Magic Leap