People are expectant of Magic Leap’s soon-to-be-released enterprise AR glasses. Dubbed Magic Leap 2, it’s expected to be better than its 2018 predecessor, which flopped. Magic Leap’s announcement came just in time as interest in the metaverse soars. Everyone’s asking—will Magic Leap 2 lead the way for widespread metaverse adoption?
While Magic Leap may have dazzled consumers with its AR headset that launched almost four years ago, this is not its goal this time around. A foray into the metaverse is not what Peggy Johnson, Magic Leap’s CEO, has in mind for the company.
Magic Leap has decided to focus on a narrow niche of enterprise customers where AR is already commonly used for training and on-ground support. Johnson believes that their tech is not yet ready to be a mainstream product designed for the metaverse.
Still, Johnson admits that the hype around the metaverse has returned the spotlight to AR and VR. She acknowledges that Magic Leap 2’s new direction will prepare the company for whatever comes next. But it’s too early to tell if the metaverse trend will soar or not, so the company would rather not associate itself too much with the concept.
Finding the Right XR Tech for the Metaverse
Getting consumers to warm up to the metaverse is a matter of finding the right XR hardware that can support their interests. Tech giants are in a race to develop the hardware that would catapult widespread metaverse adoption but no one is even close.
Sravanth Aluru, CEO and co-founder of Avataar, a company that uses AR to shape consumers’ online buying experience, says the process of creating AR headsets won’t be an overnight drastic shift. Just like how smartphones were developed, it will be a gradual tech evolution. For now, we can expect bulky headsets that are more acceptable in enterprise settings. It will be years before we see AR wearables as lightweight as sunglasses or contact lenses.
For Aluru, tech companies should address the following challenges to come up with a winning XR hardware that consumers would quickly adopt:
- It should be convenient and easy to use. Most XR hardware in the market is bulky due to the high processing power needed to support them.
- The Field of View (FOV) should be as close as possible to natural eyesight. Most XR hardware has a FOV reminiscent of binoculars.
- It should provide seamless connectivity avoiding lags as one moves around.
- It should recognize that human cognitive abilities are finite and must optimize information displays and activities.
Magic Leap 2 AR Glasses and the Metaverse
Those who’ve tried Magic Leap 2 commented on the promise the AR glasses have for the metaverse. Magic Leap 2 has a dynamic dimming technology that helps digital content stand out against the real world by dimming parts of the user’s vision to near darkness. This seamless transition from AR to VR is a feature that can be very useful in the metaverse.
Magic Leap 2 has also switched to open-source Android, rather than using a custom OS. This opens the potential for an ecosystem where app developers can experiment and fuel the growth of the XR tech.
As Aluru shared, enterprise applications of AR devices would first be widely used before they become part of mainstream consumerism. Magic Leap’s strategy to focus on niche enterprises appears to be the right move for now.
As Magic Leap continues to make advancements in the wearable space, Aluru advises that they should consider the complete customer experience while wearing the device. This includes having contextual awareness of how their tech is used. This will be the key to driving widespread adoption.
Magic Leap 2: A Second Chance at Success?
There are not many differences between Magic Leap 2 and its predecessor, Magic Leap 1. Visually, both look the same and have the same components. The only differences are a larger FOV, use of optical tracking, a more powerful processor, and selective dimming technology.
Magic Leap’s focus on enterprise customers, however, is what could catapult Magic Leap 2 to success. By establishing an identity in a niche that already uses AR technology, it is positioning itself for the opportunity to take over the metaverse when the opportunity arises.
As Aluru points out, we are still years away from a user-friendly all-day wearable device. But as consumers continue to look for new ways to engage with digital environments, including how they shop online, wearables are the next logical evolution.
Is Magic Leap 2 headed in that direction?