Magic Leap today announced that it has raised $500 million in new capital at a $2 billion valuation. This comes ahead of the launch of its upcoming AR headset, Magic Leap 2, which it promises will be smaller, lighter, and tuned to be an “all day” device.

New Capital

Magic Leap CEO Peggy Johnson took to CNBC today during the channel’s Power Lunch show to reveal that the company has raised a $500 million investment at a $2 billion valuation. The company didn’t disclose who participated in the funding round.

Magic Leap had previously raised some $3 billion for its hyped AR headset which didn’t see nearly as much traction as the company hoped for. It nearly fell apart last year, and had gone as far as announcing significant layoffs, before a last minute investment of $350 million allowed it to restructure. Shortly thereafter, Peggy Johnson took over as CEO, replacing founder Rony Abovitz, and began to pivot the company more heavily toward the enterprise sector.

The First Details on Magic Leap 2

Magic Leap 2 will be the first new product from the company since Johnson took the reins. In addition to announcing the new investment today on CNBC’s Power Lunch, Johnson also teased more about the new AR headset.

Most interestingly, perhaps, she said Magic Leap 2 will be an “all day, every day” device, thanks to a more compact and comfortable form factor. This is intriguing because—if “all day” is to be believed—it suggests the headset will have significantly more battery life than the three or so hours of the original Magic Leap headset.

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“These updated features lend themselves to achieving our goal of all day, everyday use, which is what the enterprise market has been asking for—a device that you can put on your head in the morning and wear all day long,” Johnson wrote today in a post on the company’s official blog.

It remains to be seen how the company plans to achieve this however. A truly ‘all day’ AR headset would be a breakthrough in the industry, as it would allow persistent and seamless augmentation of the real world, rather than donning a bulky headset for select use-cases. However, Johnson may merely be alluding to the headset being comfortable enough to wear all day, but only if it remains powered off until specifically needed. Alternatively the new headset could now include a swappable battery pack.

But bulk and battery life isn’t the only barrier to true practical ‘all day’ use. In an image of Magic Leap 2 released today we can see that the headset will still bring a notable penalty to one’s own field-of-view, similar to the original Magic Leap headset which significantly truncated the real-world FOV.

Image courtesy Magic Leap

Johnson also claimed Magic Leap 2 will include a new “segmented dimming” technology which she says will allow the headset to be practical in brighter environments, like an operating room. She didn’t elaborate on how it worked.

Magic Leap 2 will also feature improved “color fidelity,” “text legibility,” and “image quality,” according to Johnson, as well as “double the field-of-view.” We take this to mean ‘double the area‘ which is less significant than doubling the diagonal field-of-view, but it would be an improvement none-the-less, likely bringing Magic Leap 2’s field-of-view on par with HoloLens 2.

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Image courtesy Magic Leap

It looks like most of this increase comes, oddly, in the vertical direction, according to a depiction shared by the company, which Johnson claims is the “largest field of view in the industry.”

Magic Leap says it plans to launch Magic Leap 2 in 2022, though it says “select customers” are already using the headset through an early access program.

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  • Will this underdeliver just like the first uber-hyped headset. . . .

    • All signs point to “YES”. Like it or not, the truth is the truth:
      if you want RELEVANT XR hardware, you’re only gonna get it from
      Apple, Facebook & Valve, You can squawk all you want about that
      Lynx & DecaGear nonsense. They will go NOWHERE.
      That is, of course, assuming that either of these two pieces
      of prime vaporware are ever actually made into a buyable product. lol

      • Rogue Transfer

        Everyone starts somewhere, just look to Oculus, it started with a 16 year old in a garage, before being bought in 2014 and subsequently dissolved back in 2018, by Facebook.

        It took many years(from 2011 to 2016) for his Rift to reach a consumer released product(with some claiming(wrongly) it vaporware too). Before being discontinued as a product line by Facebook last year.

        Things start, grow and switch hands or discontinue unexpectedly. What companies are relevant today, might not be in the future.

        • Cless

          No, I’m sorry but its not comparable. All the pieces of the puzzle where pretty much there, even Palmer said that more than once.
          For AR… YOU have to make the pieces, which requires a lot of RND money. Reason why we don’t see 16 year olds in a garages making them.

          • knuckles625

            I agree with your premise that consumer adoptable AR is still too far a ways off, and most AR companies are just riding a hype wave that isn’t ready to really build a business on yet.

            But…birdbath optic AR is totally do-able right now by a savvy 16 year old in a garage (with ~200$ and a 3D Printer). There are a dozen designs which more or less end up like Leapmotion’s project north star (released under GPL back in early 2018). There have also been a few cardboard designs that use a phone and add position tracking via arcore/arkit with either passthrough AR or birdbath style.

            The biggest hurdles to consumer adoptable AR right now is miniaturization/making it not look stupid, and environmental awareness and those are definitely in the “big R&D money” space.

            TLDR: There’s a huge difference between where a technology has to be for a dedicated hobbyist to cobble it together, and where a technology has to be for a business to make a successful product out of it

      • Cless

        Nah, don’t worry, AR is a dead product for the general population until the end of decade/next decade so at best… Pretty unrelated to who makes them, not Apple, not Facebook or not Valve will change that in the near/mid future. Adding to that, there is quite a big chance that proper passthrough cameras like we are seeing now on Varjo’s will make them quite obsolete or in the best case scenario, displace their use only for very specific scenarios.

        • cataflic

          AR of what??
          First we have to cancel the smartphone system and tranfer it to a glasses system in somehow, with a ring controller or similar hand tracker.
          This is the next step….cool glasses, apple style are the first quantum leap.
          By then they’ll can deliver millions of glasses earn money, see what really people will ask for, and obtain the power for an ar/mr device.
          Thinking that magic leap is more that a bottomless pit for money, by me, is insane.

          • Cless

            I’m sorry, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about lol

          • Malkmus

            I’d say consumer AR is already coming a lot sooner than that just because of what people are doing with the passthrough on Quest 2. Yo0u can tell that in another year or two there will be full applications making use of that, and people already get so damned excited about it even with crappy passthrough.

          • Cless

            Definitely. I just always fail to think about passthrough about AR, but it really is. Let me correct my comment, were I said AR on my previous comment, I would say AR on transparent glass screens.

  • xyzs

    People still funding this company just deserve to loose their money… What does it take ?

  • guest

    ¿What’s the function of that thing that goes on your for head?

  • oomph2

    nice
    But nreal could be better (at least for its looks)
    & 500M thats a lot of money

  • Lhorkan

    With its whole software stack, Microsoft is just such a more logical choice for enterprise AR than ML is. And with this new hardware only just about reaching the capabilities of the HL2, as soon as the next generation Hololens is out, this will be entirely obsolete again. Who keeps investing in this company?

    • Malkmus

      While I do agree that the software (and probably ergonomics) of HL2 are more desirable for enterprise, they’re not exactly playing catchup here with capabilities. The FOV is significantly larger than HL2, and Magic Leap 1 was already an increase in FOV over HL1 when it came out. It also came with a 6DOF controller which Microsoft teased for HL1 but never launched. HL2 is also notorious for color banding issues, and its generally agreed that optically ML is ahead of them on that front. But this is a always a complicated discussion; there is no “winner” in the AR space yet because they all have so many caveats– no jack of all trades in other words. Facebook could be the one to nail it.

      • Lhorkan

        Agreed that the color banding on HL2 is pretty horrible. It doesn’t look like ML2’s FOV will be significantly larger though, only taller: https://kguttag.com/2021/10/13/magic-leap-2-for-enterprise-really-plus-another-500m/

        That article brings up other interesting points why the ML2 will be ill-suited for enterprise purposes. Worth a read!

        • Malkmus

          I don’t put much stock in Karl’s analyses because he’s trashed both Hololens and Magic leap while ignoring what the industry is willing and needing to put up with until we reach that fabled AR headset that solves every problem. I also wouldn’t discount the FOV increase in ML2 until we get hands on impressions. So far the reception from devs to the vertical increase has been extremely positive. I’m also curious to see whether their dimming mode for bright environments works as intended. Still lots of questions!

  • VRFriend

    They are to suck investor money.

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  • I find the FOV ratio in portrait mode rather disturbing. They are either planning this purposely or unwittingly, by catering to the Instagram/Snap/TikTok crowd, who’s first choice in viewing is portrait mode. Magic Leap still carries significant influence in the consumer area, in spite of this being an enterprise release. I have zero desire for my HMD to be a portrait mode device.

  • Mrfox Babbit

    Fov is now TWICE the size of a postage stamp… well…almost double…..well, more like 2/3… well…

  • hugorune

    I don‘t believe it. They just don‘t get it. I want a beautiful naked woman sitting on my couch, talking to me about what the frack while spreading sex appeal. IS THAT SO HARD???

  • Mark Phillips

    Could Magic Leap be the final form of the headset that the early adopters have wanted since the first capital round originated, and what would it take to get traction if so?

  • Well, at least I like how Peggy Johnson is very practical as a CEO. Let’s see where she will be able to bring this company to