The reborn augmented reality company, Magic Leap, is looking to target surgeons and medical users as it aims to pivot towards healthcare, defense, and manufacturing markets for its products.
Its new AR headset due midyear called Magic Leap 2 has already found use by companies such as the heart-mapping startup SentiAR Inc. and the neurotechnology business SyncThink Inc. It is also working with several other companies, such as Heru Inc., which plans personalized vision-correction applications, and Brainlab AG, the maker of a mixed reality program for reviewing surgical plans and medical collaboration.
The company had initially raised $3.5 billion but eventually went into a slump. It was reborn when Microsoft Corp. veteran Peggy Johnson took charge of the company in 2020 and raised a further $500 million to get it back on track by narrowing its scope to specific markets receptive to AR.
It’s easiest to make progress within “industries that are used to wearing something on their eyes,” she said. “If it’s a surgeon, maybe it’s a magnifier or lights. Manufacturing, they’re wearing safety things. So we see acceptance of something on your eyes already.”
The company’s latest products have made enhancements that are key for healthcare. It features a larger field of view that expands vertically to allow a surgeon or doctor to look up at virtual screens and then back down at any holographic images on the patient. The new device will also be smaller and lighter, making it easier to wear.
The company is also looking for military and manufacturing applications, but not much information has been disclosed in this regard.
“Our interaction has been positive with the Department of Defense,” Johnson said. “Right now, we’re trying to stay focused, and it is all about training. And I think giving our soldiers the best training possible is a good mission for us to undertake.”
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