The mixed-reality company Magic Leap is said to have laid off about 1,000 employees and abandoned its focus on consumer headsets. Bloomberg reported the news earlier today, citing anonymous sources, and Magic Leap confirmed that an unreported number of layoffs were occurring on its site. “These changes will happen at all levels of our business, from my direct reports to our factory workers,” writes CEO Rony Abovitz.
Bloomberg writes that in addition to laying off half of its workforce, the company will end its consumer-oriented activities, which included video games and entertainment applications. It will focus on business uses, including potentially partnering with a large, unnamed healthcare company. Abovitz confirmed the transition to the company. “Recent changes in the economic environment have reduced the availability of capital and the appetite for longer-term investment,” he writes, and “short-term income opportunities are currently concentrated on the corporate side.”
This accelerates a transition that Magic Leap – which has received more than $ 2 billion in funding since 2010 – was already underway. The company changed its helmet name last year to appeal more to business customers, and since the start of the pandemic, it has promoted the Magic Leap One for around $ 2,300 as a remote work tool. Augmented and mixed reality hardware companies have been more successful in areas such as healthcare, manufacturing and training than in personal computing, where headsets are still seen as expensive and clunky novelty. But the whole industry has contracted in recent years, with small companies like ODG and Meta Pliage. One of the few companies still actively promote consumer helmets is Nreal, whose founder previously worked for (and was chased by) Magic Leap.
The future of Magic Leap looks uncertain, but the company says it continues to move forward with the Magic Leap 2 helmet. like ours and we are currently negotiating strategic revenue-generating partnerships that highlight the value of the Magic Leap technology platform in the corporate market, “writes. Abovitz.