Magic Leap Won’t Make a Consumer Headset but May License Tech to Someone That Will

Magic Leap just gave us the first glimpse of its Magic Leap 2 AR headset earlier this week. Despite a consumer-focused start, the company has firmly pivoted into the enterprise segment. Comments from the CEO suggest there will be no consumer headset from Magic Leap in the near-term, but the company says its open to licensing its tech for the consumer space.

Despite nearly going bust last year, Magic Leap secured its near-term future with the announcement this week that it has raised an additional $500 million, alongside giving the first glimpse at the new and improved Magic Leap 2 AR headset which is due to ship next year. The company is making it clear that the device is designed (and will be priced) for the enterprise segment.

Image courtesy Magic Leap

In a Magic Leap blog post this week CEO Peggy Johnson outlined the company’s activities during her first year as CEO, and affirmed a long-term emphasis on the enterprise space. But she also said the company is open to licensing its tech to anyone building in the consumer sphere.

“While our core business objectives remain focused on enterprise solutions, there continues to be intense interest in the application of Magic Leap’s technology in the consumer space,” Johnson wrote. “In fact, we have received several requests to license our technology and will actively pursue these opportunities if they enhance our position and ability to innovate in the enterprise market.”

The last part is particularly telling… that the company will only consider lending its tech to the consumer space if it benefits its position in enterprise. It’s an interesting admission that both affirms the company’s enterprise focus while suggesting that it has no near-term plans to build products for consumers; that also sounds a lot like saying ‘we don’t want to compete with Facebook or Apple’.

Johnson, a former Microsoft executive vice president who took over as CEO of Magic Leap in 2020, writes that Magic Leap has “one of the most robust IP portfolios I’ve seen for a company of this scale,” and is clearly interested in leveraging its patented tech into an ongoing revenue stream.