Once held up as the future of consumer AR, Magic Leap lays of 1,000 staff pivots to enterprise
Magic Leap has announced a major restructure and reorientation of its business model as it seeks to continue its dream of driving breakthroughs in spatial computing. Once touted as the next big thing in AR, the company was valued as much as $4.6 billion by Forbes in 2016 on the back of big name investors including Google and Andreessen Horowitz dropping millions into its runway. To date it has only released the Magic Leap 1 which received lukewarm reviews after experiencing several delays ahead of its launch.
In a statement published on its blog, founder and CEO Rony Abovitz, perhaps predictably, blamed the COVID-19 crisis as being the trigger for the lay off and restructure. Although not mentioning how many staff would be cut in his post, it has been reported that at least 50 percent of Magic Leap’s staff have been let go. This amounts to roughly 1,000 employees who now join dozens of other staff who were let go after the lackluster launch of the Magic Leap 1 in 2019.
Moving forward, however, the company sees its efforts in spatial computing finding more of a market in enterprise. To date, both VR and AR headsets have had a difficult time achieving the anticipated, or hoped for, consumer interest. AR headsets have had a harder time of it however Microsoft’s has found an audience in both the military and enterprise for its Hololens headset. Apple is also developing something in this space but also seems to have enterprise in mind for its AR headset.