In the spirit of the season, Magic Leap dumped a news cornucopia on our desk this morning, brushing off doubters and negative news stories, as it focuses on the next two years. First, the headlines:
The Magic Leap Enterprise Suite, Now available on the Magic Leap website. The Suite includes everything a business needs to efficiently roll out spatial computing to employees, manage devices securely, and build and deploy enterprise or custom built applications. Priced at $2995, the new Magic Leap 1 Enterprise Suite includes:
● The New Magic Leap 1 HMD with tethered Lightpack. This new, updated version of Magic Leap One drops “Creator Edition” from the name. At the same time, Magic Leap is releasing updates to its LuminOS (0.98) and LuminSDK (0.23) for current Magic Leap One Creator Edition owners.
● Support. Two-year access to dedicated omnichannel support.
● Two-year access to Device Manager. 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. Get a new device quickly if you need one.
● A two-year extended warranty. To guarantee Magic Leap 1 always works as it should.
“Since the launch of Magic Leap One Creator Edition in August, 2018, we’ve been working on solutions with enterprise partners, looking at different enterprise verticals, which has allowed us to understand the needs of the marketplace,” said Omar Khan, Chief Product Officer at Magic Leap. “This has enabled us to build a product around the enterprise’s real, everyday needs.” He broke the enterprise suite into four solution areas.
(1) Communication collaboration and co-presence. The company introduced its own application, Jump by Magic Leap, but is also working with partners like Spatial for the next generation in conferencing. Magic Leap partner BNP Paribas Real Estate reports it’s been able to lessen employee travel, and change the way its employees interact and collaborate with remote colleagues using spatial computing.
(2) 3D Spatial visualization. This application is for designers. Wether it’s collaboration or demonstration, sharing works-in-progress and doing rapid iterations is critical in design. Spatial computing enables architects to walking through a life sized CAD drawing of a building, and for doctors to stand inside of the CT scan of a patient’s anatomy.
(3) Learn and assist. Knowledge capture is a hot topic in enterprise XR right now, as tens of millions of baby-boomers with deep institutional knowledge are retiring in increasing numbers. Using spatial computing, and see-what-I-see technology, a worker can capture, narrate and even anchor content so that the next worker, standing in this same place wearing a Magic Leap device can follow their exact, step by step instructions. Jabil, a leading manufacturing solutions provider, leverages Magic Leap technology to train production-line operators and simplify complex assembly operations by integrating digital instructions into their physical environment.
(4) Location based experiences bring the digital world into live events and physical spaces. Magic Leap’s platform enables content and IP owners to bring digital entertainment to life in curated physical spaces. In the spring of 2019, Magic Leap, HBO and ATT brought a short spatial Game of Thrones experience to AT&T stores. Magic Leap wants to offer that same technology to other retailers. Sports venues, museums, trade shows and college campuses, could all be augmented with spatial computing experiences.
Rony Abovitz, founder and CEO of Magic Leap, and the company he founded in 2014, which has raised and eye-popping 2.6billion (not a typo) dollars, was the subject of a long profile in Forbes this time last year. His previous company, Mako Robotics, created micro instruments for brain surgeons. Naturally, he started our conversation about Magic Leap’s leap into enterprise with his long term vision: all day, every day, everyone, everywhere. Your smartglasses will be with you like your mobile phone. They will be that close to your life.
Abovitz then proceeded to lay out the roadmap for the next eighteen months (or so) of Magic Leap’s development. Very significant in our view because this has not been so articulated to our knowledge. He fearlessly answered hard questions about Apple, Qualcomm, pass through, and security. The first thing he said was how surprised he was by how active and “leaning in” he has found the enterprise market in general.
The first news bomb Abovitz dropped is that the Magic Leap 2 will ship in 2021. Abovitz emphasized it is for enterprise and early prosumers. “This is a major new platform packed with sensors, and advanced optics,” Abovitz told me. He said the device is now passing through “phase gates” (production equivalent builds). Throughout 2020, Magic Leap plans to work closely with customers to perfect the Magic Leap 2.
When asked about the inherent security advantage the Windows 10 operating systems gives to the Microsoft HoloLens, Abovitz answered that Magic Leap’s open and flexible platform easily integrates into Windows 10, Azure, AWS or Google Compute. “Think about the complexity of military needs, and their security requirements. Our strength is open and modular and ease of integration, something our DoD clients really like about us.”
The other topic we touched on was the recent announcements from Apple and Qualcomm (which supplies most of the industry with Snapdragon XR processors) concerning their own roadmaps and where they are going in the next three years. The outward facing cameras of HMDs will get more powerful, and with faster latency-free 5G networks users, looking through their cameras, can experience a wild remix of reality. Abovitz says those approaches have their place, but he rejects the idea that people would live that way. “We’re sticking to our guns. Physical screens must go. Their days are numbered.”