Although VR systems like the Facebook Oculus and HTC Vive get the lion’s share of mass media coverage, they are often geared more towards entertainment with a pinch of productivity on the sides. In contrast, AR, at least the ones that involve headsets, is often marketed as something for more serious work, which is probably why most of these products are available only for enterprise customers. Magic Leap is one such product and its next-gen model has been teased with some rather modest upgrades.
Magic Leap has been teasing its augmented reality platform and hardware for almost a decade, being one of the first to try and carve out a new AR market. But while others like Microsoft was able to put out their own HoloLens take on that industry, it wasn’t until 2018 that it finally launched the Magic Leap One headset. Even then, the company and its products were mired with controversy and it eventually decided to cater exclusively to enterprise customers.
Fast-forward to today, Magic Leap CEO Peggy Johnson divulge a small number of facts about the second iteration of the AR headset. In a Future Investment Initiative event, Johnson described the second-gen headset to be “50% smaller, 20% lighter, with 100% larger field of view”. Those are pretty generic statements but Road to VR thankfully did some analysis on what those meant.
The weight is the easiest one to figure out, as the first Magic Leap AR headset weighed 316 grams, making the second-gen close to 250g. The Field of View, however, is tricky as it can mean any of the aspect ratios used to measure that spec. The site theorizes it only means that the surface area will be two times bigger, yielding only a 55-degree horizontal FOV compared to the current model’s 50 degrees.
Those aren’t exactly big steps forward, as far as the hardware goes, and it could paint the image of a company that is failing to live up to its promises again. The 2nd Magic Leap AR headset is expected to arrive sometime in the fourth quarter of the year and, given there are very few of its kind, customers invested in AR might not have much choice but to take it up on its offer.