Different Strokes for Different Folks Enterprise Use-cases

Photo by Road to VR

If you put ML2 next to ML1, you see a clear improvement from the first headset to the second, almost across the board. And while I’d say that ML2 is notably more immersive than HoloLens 2, it’s important to remember that these are enterprise products for which immersion may not be the most important factor—the individual use-case will have great sway over which is ‘best’ for the job.

What’s fundamentally at stake between ML2 and HoloLens 2 is the same as it was between ML1 and HoloLens 2. The key is in each headset’s architecture.

HoloLens 2 is fully self-contained and has a ‘visor-style’ design which leaves you with nearly full real-world peripheral vision and a convenient ‘flip-up’ display for stowing the AR view when you don’t need it.

Image courtesy Microsoft

Magic Leap 2 on the other hand has a ‘goggles-style’ design which significantly reduces your real-world peripheral vision, and has a tethered compute ‘puck’ which means first putting on the headset and then slinging the puck over your arm or attaching it to your pocket (and doing the reverse when you don’t need it).

If you think about the enterprise sectors that Magic Leap is gunning for—healthcare, manufacturing, and government—it’s clear to see that ML2’s consumer-centric heritage has left HoloLens 2 with some key advantages in the enterprise space.

That’s not to say that Magic Leap 2 isn’t a good enterprise headset. I’m sure there are use-cases where having the largest field-of-view and most immersion will be the overriding factor in choosing which to use. I’m just saying I don’t think anyone should be counting HoloLens 2 out just yet.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Jayman

    Magic Leap is still around?? Nearly 10 years after the elephant-in-the-palm gag, I thought they were defunct.

  • XRC

    Look forward to trying ML2, thoroughly enjoyed using ML1.

    Shame about the loss of dual focal plane, was very effective on ML1.

  • Interesting review. I personally prefer the ML2 over the HoloLens 2. The unit I reviewed of HL2 had rainbows everywhere, the FOV was super limited, and it didn’t work in sunlight. ML2 had larger FOV, better colors, better FOV, and the dimming feature let me use it even in brighter environments. Dimming also let me try it as a pseudo-VR headset.

    Totally agree on the all-in-one vs all-in-two design, its the greatest flaw of this headset… together with the lack of backing of a great cloud solution (like Azure with HL2). But I still think that in a good number of use cases now this is better than HL2.

    • Sven Viking

      I guess the dimming is for the whole lens, not localised?

      • Malkmus

        There is segmented dimming, so it can isolate certain areas.
        Kind of an awkward article here. I get maybe not wanting to hype up Magic Leap because of what happened in the past, but credit where it’s due. Like, we’ve been waiting years for an AR headset that could finally display black, and 70 degrees was once considered the holy grail when it was rumored Hololens 2 would have it some 4 years ago. But the article just kind of glosses over these breakthroughs as not that big a deal, and pumps up Hololens 2 without even mentioning the major news this week that Kipman has been fired, the hardware and software teams split up, and the future of the device is in question due to its dependency ont the in flux Army contract. Seems remiss not to mention all these things.

        • XRC

          The news of kipman’s resignation from Microsoft over allegations of sexually inappropriate behaviour?

  • So whatever advantages it might have had over other AR headsets are now gone and it’s pretty much just like any other AR headset you might find out there. They’ve even give up on bringing this to the wider market.

    I guess, on the upside, it’s at least a REAL product and not just a hype machine. It’s pretty much exactly what it was always going to be once REALITY had it’s way with their fantasy.

    Still doesn’t change the fact that the real future of AR is in VR headsets using pass-through cameras, like the Quest. This is a dinosaur on display.

  • Cooe

    This article just COMPLETELY ignores the absolutely GARGANTUAN performance GULF in between HoloLens 2 & Magic Leap 2… Regardless of any form factor advantages, the former product just isn’t powerful enough anymore to do what the latest & greatest enterprise AR customers want.

    As in the former device is literally running on a whimpy as hell Samsung 10nm Snapdragon 850 ARM smartphone SOC… The latter otoh is using the same, cutting edge TSMC 7nm AMD “Van Gogh” x86 APU used in the Valve Steam Deck. (Aka a 4c/8t Zen 2 CPU + 8x RDNA 2 CU’s + 128-bit LPDDR5)

    TL;DR – The Magic Leap 2 is literally at a MINIMUM ≈5 TIMES FASTER/more powerful than the HoloLens 2. They aren’t even in the same freaking universe anymore…