If at first you don’t succeed, ride the hype train to industry-town. Magic Leap was a much lauded AR startup who kept their cards close to their chest and over-promised on virtually every dimension of their software and hardware. Anyone who got to play with the tech had to sign onerous NDAs and they all seemed to sing strained praise about what Magic Leap was doing.
The headset was priced at over $2k, a price tag that in 2019 seemed ridiculous and has become no more reasonable in the past three years. With a change of CEO in 2020, Magic Leap pivoted from the consumer space to the enterprise, a group that constantly complains about money while wasting metric truckloads of it on tech to solve organizational problems.
At CES 2023, Magic Leap’s booth focused on industrial and medical challenges that could be solved with its AR headset, in the same vein as what Microsoft has done with their Holo Lens technology and Google with their revised Glasses. While VR may be slowly finding a toe-hold in the consumer space; thanks to the efforts of Facebook and HTC, I believe that AR is better suited for business applications and the shift in focus by Magic Leap seems to confirm that theory.
Of course, Apple is rumored to have a headset ready for release in 2023, so we’ll have to see if that’s another iPhone moment or closer to Ping.