Augmented reality hardware and software developer Magic Leap, who previously tried to make its headset a consumer hit, is now focused on healthcare, defense and manufacturing.
For example, the latest Magic Leap 2 augmented reality headset, which is expected to appear in the middle of the year, is already being used by the heart mapping startup SentiAR and the neurotech company SyncThink. Heru, who wants to use personalized vision correction apps, and Brainlab, a mixed reality program for viewing surgical plans and collaborating with surgeons, will also have early access to the technology.
Magic Leap originally hoped to develop an AR headset for the consumer market and has raised $ 3.5 billion to develop it from major investors like Alphabet. But then the company shifted its focus to business customers and hired Microsoft veteran Peggy Johnson to run the business in 2020. The company raised an additional $ 500 million and limited the target areas of the headset to several areas that show the most promise for the use of mixed reality technologies.
The new device has received a number of enhancements that are critical for healthcare applications. The headset has a larger field of view that is expanded vertically so the doctor can look at images at the top of the virtual screen and then return to holographic images of the patient, Johnson said. The headset also has a function for darkening the bright background typical of operating theater lighting so that the surgeon can concentrate on the patient’s organs that have been operated on. In addition, the device is smaller and lighter, which makes it more convenient to use.
Johnson said that because of new features, Magic Leap 2 will be “slightly” more expensive than the current version, which costs between $ 2,295 and $ 2,995.
Magic Leap also works with military and manufacturing customers, but Johnson declined to name customers in those areas. Military applications, in their opinion, are primarily related to training, while manufacturing companies want to use the device for training, repair and remote working with experts. When the pandemic cut short on-site visits, Magic Leap used mixed reality headsets to coordinate the construction of its plants in Mexico.
Johnson also said Magic Leap is not going to give up the consumer market in the long run. Mixed reality technology also needs to become cheaper, with more compact components so that it can be used with normal glasses, she said.