Magic Leap Becomes a Workplace Tool

As companies turn to teleconferencing services like Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic, Magic Leap is one of a relatively few mixed reality companies pitching its headsets.

Manufacturing problems have delayed the release of Nreal Light glasses, which were hyped as a major advance for the technology. Several smaller companies — like Daqri, Meta, and ODG — have folded over the past couple of years. Microsoft, however, recently announced a new partnership for its Teams software with industrial headset company RealWear.

Magic Leap has taken steps to avoid the novel coronavirus, including (like many other companies) postponing its developer conference until October. Right now, though, that may not be its only concern. Bloomberg reported recently that Magic Leap — which has received more than $2 billion in funding — is weighing an acquisition, although early talks with Facebook apparently went nowhere. It’s supposedly sold far fewer devices than expected, and while Magic Leap promised a new headset in 2021, the pandemic could upset those plans.

Since its first headsets shipped in 2018, the company has gradually turned from promoting AR entertainment products to pitching itself as a workplace tool, and it’s reportedly explored a sale to medical company Johnson & Johnson as well. For now, it’s moving ahead with updates to its Lumin operating system and Magicverse online platform, as well as development of the Magic Leap 2.

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