As we predicted this time last year, Magic Leap is finally moving from consumer entertainment hype to making a firm commitment to enterprise customers.
On Tuesday, the company announced a new name for its device -- the Magic Leap 1, instead of the Magic Leap One Creator Edition. Also, the company is now offering a new "suite of services" targeting business customers.
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The new Magic Leap Enterprise Suite includes an updated version of the hardware, two-year access to dedicated omnichannel support, two-year access to Device Manager with enterprise-level support from Magic Leap, two-year access to a RapidReplace program, and a two-year extended warranty.
As you might expect, the price for the new offering is a bit higher at $2,995 compared to the $2,295 price of the original. (The Magic Leap 1 name also applies to the non-enterprise product, which will still sell for $2,295.)
However, aside from more access to the company's internal support infrastructure, it's not entirely clear what you're getting for that higher price and a (very slightly) different name. What is different is that the company finally makes direct reference to its would-be competition, the HoloLens 2, by comparing its lighter weight (316 grams) to the device from Microsoft (566 grams).
Although there's really no competition between the two just yet (the HoloLens 2 is the superior device and Microsoft has greater reach due to its software infrastructure and partnerships), it's telling that Magic Leap is finally directly attempting to tie itself to the HoloLens when it comes to courting enterprise customers.
We predicted a shift to enterprise for Magic Leap last year, but in recent months Magic Leap's public-facing profile has remained dedicated to consumer-oriented apps like games to promote its platform. This seemingly abrupt shift to enterprise comes just after damaging reports from Next Reality regarding executive departures, a hunt for new funding, and the company's patents being assigned to JPMorgan Chase, as well as a subsequent report from The Information that indicated that Magic Leap's sales numbers are far below expectations.
These reports couldn't have come at a worse time for a company attempting to secure new investment while its patents are in limbo.
So while Magic Leap's enterprise focus may be coming a bit later than we expected, and with timing that seems more like a response to negative news than a firm, pre-existing strategy, it's finally here and the company is finally publicly admitting that it needs to beat Microsoft's HoloLens 2. That's a tall order, but this enterprise shift might be Magic Leap's best chance at turning its fortunes around as some have begun to wonder just how long Magic Leap will continue to have any spring in its spatial computing step.