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2020: The Year of AR? "$2.6 Billion Flop" Magic Leap Pivots to Enterprise

Accepted submission by takyon at 2019-12-11 11:26:53

In 2020, smart glasses may start looking totally normal []

It doesn't pay to be an early adopter. Smart glasses maker North, which earlier this year, has just announced an updated version for 2020. That means the first Focals, which displayed notifications via a retinal-projection technology that looked like a tiny pop-up window in one eye, are being discontinued, the company says.

The improved glasses promise to be 40% lighter and have 10 times the display resolution of the first version. "We spent the last year in the market learning how to build, sell and support smart glasses with our first-gen product, that we now will combine with over five years of research working on the technology upgrades in Focals 2.0," Steven Lake, North CEO, said in a press release.

Meanwhile, Magic Leap has struggled to move [] its Magic Leap One Creator Edition headsets despite over $2.6 billion in funding:

The Information [] today published an in-depth report about Magic Leap's state of affairs. Most notable is how it apparently only sold 6,000 Magic Leap One Creator Edition [] headsets in the first six months.

Priced at $2,295, buyers get a "Lightwear" headset that connects to a puck-shaped "Lightpack" computer worn around their waist. CEO Rony Abovitz reportedly had an initial goal of 1 million devices in the first year before settling with 100,000.


Instead of producing a new version in the near term, Magic Leap will try to sell the same headsets to businesses []:

Magic Leap is pitching its headset to businesses with a new name. The Magic Leap One Creator Edition, which shipped last August, is being replaced with the Magic Leap 1, which sells for the same price of $2,295.

The Magic Leap 1 will replace the original Creator Edition, and Magic Leap's chief product officer Omar Khan says it has "some minor updates." But it appears visually indistinguishable from the old device, and there's apparently no significant change in the industrial design or the optics, including the field of view and overall visual quality. Magic Leap also takes pains to avoid calling it a "next-generation" headset or even a major update — the company said today that it's planning to release a Magic Leap 2 in 2021. This update seems to be mostly symbolic, indicating that the Magic Leap headset is no longer an experiment.

Also at Fast Company [], Wccftech [] ("$2.6 Billion Flop" []).

Previously: Magic Leap Finally Announces a Product, But is It Still Vaporware? []
Magic Leap Opens Up Orders for $2,295 "Creator Edition" Augmented Reality Headset []
"North Focals" $1000 Smartglasses Reviewed []
Magic Leap Accuses Chinese Company of Copying Trade Secrets []
Another High-Flying, Heavily Funded AR Headset Startup is Shutting Down []

Original Submission