Unicorn AR Startup Magic Leap is Killing Its First Headset Next Year

Magic Leap 1, the AR headset that helped the Plantation, Florida-based startup attract over three billion dollars in funding, will be completely defunct by late next year.

The company announced this week that Magic Leap 1’s cloud services are due to be shut off on December 31st, 2024. After that date, the headset will receive no further support.

The loss of cloud services indeed means the headset will essentially be ‘bricked’ on that date, as “core functionality will reach end-of-life and the Magic Leap 1 device and apps will cease to function,” the company says in a recent FAQ.

Image courtesy Magic Leap

On September 29th, 2023, a number of developer resources are being pulled too, including the forum dedicated to Magic Leap 1 as well as the headset’s dedicated Discord channel.

Here’s the full statement from Magic Leap, courtesy a comment made by Reddit user ‘The Golden Leaper’.

Today we are announcing that Magic Leap 1 end of life date will be December 31, 2024. Magic Leap 1 is no longer available for purchase, but will continue to be supported through December 31, 2024 as follows:

Magic Leap 1 Developer Forum: On September 29th, 2023, Magic Leap 1 Developer Forum (https://ml1-developer.magicleap.com/) will no longer be available. Please refer to the Magic Leap 2 Developer Forum for current information and updates on the Magic Leap platform.

Magic Leap Discord channel: On September 29th, 2023, Magic Leap Discord channel will no longer be available. Please refer to the Magic Leap 2 Developer Forum for current information and updates on the Magic Leap platform.

OS Updates: Magic Leap will only address outages that impact core functionality (as determined by Magic Leap) until December 31, 2024.

Customer Care (http://magicleap.com/contactus) will continue to offer Magic Leap 1 product troubleshooting assistance through December 31, 2024.

Warranties: Magic Leap will continue to honor valid warranty claims under the Magic Leap 1 Warranty Policy available here (https://www.magicleap.com/ml1/warranty-policies).

While no longer sold by Magic Leap, the company was selling ML 1 up until mid-2022. Brand new units, including the headset’s hip-worn compute unit and single controller, were being liquidated for the barn burner deal of $550 via Amazon subsidiary Woot. It’s uncertain how many developers and enterprise users will be affected by the shutdown, however they do have a little over a year to figure out a replacement strategy.

Launched in 2018, Magic Leap straddled an uneasy rift between enterprise and prosumers with ML 1 (known then as ‘ML One’), which gained it a lukewarm reception mostly thanks to its $2,300 price tag and relatively narrow differentiation from Microsoft HoloLens. Despite Magic Leap’s best efforts, it simply wasn’t the consumer device the company wanted to make from the onset.

A leadership shuffle in mid-2020 saw co-founder and CEO Rony Abovitz step down, tapping former Microsoft exec Peggy Johnson to take the reins and immediately pivot to target enterprise with its most recent AR headset, Magic Leap 2.

Magic Leap is Selling Its First AR Headset for Just $550

It looks like Magic Leap is holding a barn burner of a sale on its first AR headset, Magic Leap 1, as the one-time $2,300 device can now be had for $550.

As first reported by GMW3, Magic Leap appears to be flushing excess stock of the 2018-era AR headset via the Amazon-owned online retailer Woot. 

The listing (find it here) is for a brand new Magic Leap 1, including the headset’s hip-worn compute unit and single controller. The sale is happening from now until June 1st, and features a three-unit limit per customer. Amazon US Prime members qualify for free shipping, which ought to arrive to those of you in the lower 48 in early June.

If you’re tempted, there’s a few things you should know before hitting the ‘buy now’ button. Users should be warned that since Magic Leap pivoted to service only enterprise users, that its Magic Leap World online app store isn’t likely to see any new apps outside of the handful that were released between 2018-2020.

Image courtesy Magic Leapgic leap

Still, there are a mix of apps such as Spotify or room-scale shooter Dr. Grordbort’s Invaders which might be better suited as tech demos, giving prospective augmented reality devs a sense of what you might create for a bona fide AR headset, ostensibly in preparation for what devices may come—we’re looking at Apple, Google, and Meta in the near future for mixed reality headsets capable of both VR and passthrough AR.

Launched in 2018, Magic Leap straddled an uneasy rift between enterprise and prosumers with ML 1 (known then as ‘ML One’). Reception by consumers for its $2,300 AR headset was lukewarm, and messaging didn’t seem focused enough to give either developers or consumers hope that a more accessible bit of ML hardware was yet to come. Then in mid 2020, company founder and CEO Rony Abovitz stepped down, giving way to former Microsoft exec Peggy Johnson to take the reigns, who has thus far positioned the company to solely target enterprise with its latest Magic Leap 2 headset.

Here’s the full spec sheet below:


CPU: 2 Denver 2.0 64-bit cores + 4 ARM Cortex A57 64-bit cores (2 A57’s and 1 Denver accessible to applications)
GPU: NVIDIA Pascal™, 256 CUDA cores
Graphic APIs: OpenGL 4.5, Vulkan, OpenGL ES 3.1+AEP


Storage Capacity: 128 GB (actual available storage capacity 95 GB)

Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Up to 3.5 hours continuous use. Battery life can vary based on use cases. Power level will be sustained when connected to an AC outlet. 45-watt USB-C Power Delivery (PD) charger

Audio Input
Voice (speech to text) + real world audio (ambient)

Audio Output
Onboard speakers and 3.5mm jack with audio spatialization processing

Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi 802.11ac/b/g/n, USB-C

Haptics: LRA Haptic Device

Tracking: 6DoF (position and orientation)

Touchpad: Touch sensitive

LEDs: 12-LED (RGB) ring with diffuser

Power: Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Up to 7.5 hours continuous use. 15-watt USB-C charger

Other Inputs
8-bit resolution Trigger Button
Digital Bumper Button
Digital Home Button

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Grab an AR Bargain Magic Leap 1 for Only $549

Back before it ever had a product, the very well backed Magic Leap was the talk of the XR town thanks to its secrecy, occasional celeb tech demos and plenty of outlandish spin. All of that eventually produced the Magic Leap One which didn’t exactly set the world on fire, especially as the device cost in excess of $2000 USD when it launched in 2018. If you wanted one but couldn’t afford it then now’s the chance, Magic Leap seems to be selling them off cheap.

NSC Creative

There’s a listing on Amazon-owned marketplace Woot for the first generation Magic Leap 1 – which was a slight improvement over the original Magic Leap One Creators Edition. It seems as though Magic Leap is selling off its old stock as the augmented reality (AR) headset still comes with a 1-year warranty and you can buy up to three at once!

But it’s the price that’s most surprising, you can pick up a brand new Magic Leap 1 for only $549 USD, that’s a massive 76% saving off the listed $2,295.00. That’s the biggest saving gmw3 has seen on hardware, even if it has been superseded by the newer Magic Leap 2.

Magic Leap 1 might have been a more enterprise-oriented headset – it wasn’t until a little later that Magic Leap announced it would fully focus on enterprise – but at the time it did court developers from across the XR industry. Studios like Resolution Games created exclusive titles like Glimt: The Vanishing at the Grand Starlight Hotel although, for the most part, those looking to tinker in AR will get the most use out of this deal.

Magic Leap

The Magic Leap 1 is comprised of the headset and its array of sensors, an external puck that houses the battery and CPU, plus an additional remote control. The holographic display has a field of view (FoV) of 50-degrees and there’s full 6DoF tracking support. Other features include a 120Hz refresh rate, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, and 3.5 hours of battery life.

The $549 Magic Leap 1 deal will end in 8 days or sooner if the stock does run out before then. For continued updates on the latest XR deals, keep reading gmw3.

Watch: New Look At Magic Leap 2 Headset & Controllers

A video shared by Magic Leap earlier this month gives us our most comprehensive look at the design of the company’s upcoming Magic Leap 2 AR headset yet.

It shows us almost every angle imaginable of the headset and its controllers.

As reported in late January, the Magic Leap 2 specs suggest it will be a best-in-class AR headset, aimed at the enterprise market. Compared to the Magic Leap 1, it’s lighter in weight, twice as powerful and features an eye box that is twice as large. This is just the tip of the iceberg — you can read more spec specifics here.

We had previously seen photos of Magic Leap 2, but this new video gives a full 360 degree overview. Plus, it gives a clearer look at the headset’s accompanying controllers. As reported earlier this month, the controllers feature cameras on the sides, used for onboard inside-out tracking.

We had seen some unofficial pictures of the controllers at the time, but this new video gives us our first official look. The two cameras are present on the sides, but you can also see what looks to be a trackpad on the top of the controller.

This style of inside-out tracking, using cameras on the controllers themselves, is being employed by other companies as well — leaked images from last September suggest that Meta will use a similar onboard camera design with its controllers for Project Cambria.

Magic Leap 2 will target enterprise markets on release, but specific pricing info and release window details have yet to be revealed.

Magic Leap 2 Teased For 2022 With Taller Field Of View

Magic Leap teased the first images of its next generation AR headset, Magic Leap 2.

A blog post by Magic Leap CEO Peggy Johnson features an image, pictured below, comparing the field of view of the first and second generation AR headsets. While Magic Leap 2 seems to have small gains in horizontal field of view, vertically the augmentation of your vision should be far more significant with the new device. The company is said to have raised another $500 million to roll-out the second generation product focused toward business markets in 2022. “Select customers” are “already leveraging its capabilities through an early access program,” according to the company.


We can also see in the images of the new device that it apparently keeps its wired design. The original Magic Leap One headset shipped starting in August 2018 priced at $2,295 with a single handheld controller and wired computing puck accompanying the lightweight glasses.

magic leap 2

Here’s the first generation device for comparison:

Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft are just a few of the companies working to develop next-generation AR headsets geared toward different use cases. A new generation of VR headsets are also likely to have advanced AR passthrough modes likely to overlap with the feature sets of systems like Magic Leap 2. We’ll be curious to see, then, what price Magic Leap’s second generation system arrives at when it launches, and how it holds up against other products available at the time it ships.

“Magic Leap 2 will be the industry’s smallest and lightest device built for enterprise adoption,” Johnson wrote. “This more advanced headset boasts critical updates that make it more immersive and even more comfortable, with leading optics, the largest field of view in the industry, and dimming – a first-to-market innovation that enables the headset to be used in brightly lit settings, in addition to a significantly smaller and lighter form factor. These updated features lend themselves to achieving our goal of all day, everyday use, which is what the enterprise market has been asking for – a device that you can put on your head in the morning and wear all day long.”

Magic Leap appointed Johnson as CEO in July 2020 after former CEO Rony Abovitz stepped down, citing a need for the company to pivot to a new ‘focused’ direction.

Magic Leap 2 Early Access Launch Confirmed for Q4 2021, General Availability in 2022

Magic Leap is getting ready to ship out its so-called ‘Magic Leap 2’ AR headset at the end of this year, which will be done via an early adopter program.

Update (April 21st, 2021): Speaking to Protocol, Magic Leap CEO Peggy Johnson reconfirmed that the company’s next-gen follow-up, officially named Magic Leap 2, is headed to select enterprise partners in the fourth quarter of this year.

Additionally, Johnson said general availability is slated for the first quarter of 2022.

There’s no information on price or hard specs, however Johnson reconfirmed it will be “half the size, about 20% lighter,” and feature “doubled the field of view.”

Original Article (February 1st, 2021): Johnson didn’t speak directly about the company’s next headset on stage at FII, however a slide was shown promising a Q4 2021 window for early access release.

There’s little else to go on for now, however the company says its second-gen headset will be “50% smaller, 20% lighter, with 100% larger field of view.”

Image courtesy FII Institute

Looking at the first-gen Magic Leap headset itself, and not taking into account the compute unit, the 2018 version weighs 316 g, which would make the second-gen device approximately 250 g.

As for FOV, Magic Leap 1 features a 4:3 aspect ratio, and an estimated horizontal FOV of 40 degrees, a vertical FOV of 30 degrees, and a FOV diagonal of 50 degrees. There’s no telling what aspect ratio the next Magic Leap headset will feature, or how the company will effectively market its “100% larger” FOV moving forward; the company only quotes the diagonal FOV of 50 degrees in marketing material.

Here, it’s very likely the company is talking about a 100 percent increase of overall surface area, and not a 100 percent increase of a single spec (re: not going from 40 to 80 horizontal FOV). That would give it around a 55 degree horizontal FOV.

Note: To increase the specs of all provided FOVs by 100 percent, the surface area would need to increase by four times, which is a tall order.

This comes as a modest upgrade, but one that businesses can probably get behind if it’s delivered at a competitive price point comparative to Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, its largest competitor in the field of enterprise-focused AR headsets. Since Magic Leap’s pivot to enterprise last year, the company has been serving mostly the same clientele, which includes industrial applications, medicine, education, and manufacturing.

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Rony Abovitz is Stepping Down as CEO of Magic Leap

Rony Abovitz - Magic Leap

Magic Leap’s CEO Rony Abovitz help found the mixed reality (MR) startup back in 2011, steering the company through massive funding rounds in a bid to make the technology the next big thing. That’s going to come to an end as he has issued a statement confirming his departure from the role.

Magic Leap

Magic Leap launched its first product, the Magic Leap One, back in 2018, having managed to raise over $2.6 billion USD from investors over the years. But it failed to achieve the success it expected, reportedly only selling 6,000 units of its $2,300 device in the first six months.

So as the company looks to a more enterprise-focused future, Abovitz is taking a step back, revealing that Magic Leap has already begun looking for his replacement.

The full statement from Abovitz on the Magic Leap blog reads:

“As we’ve shared over the last several weeks, in order to set Magic Leap on a course for success, we have pivoted to focus on delivering a spatial computing platform for enterprise.

“We have closed significant new funding and have very positive momentum towards closing key strategic enterprise partnerships.

“As the Board and I planned the changes we made and what Magic Leap needs for this next focused phase, it became clear to us that a change in my role was a natural next step. I discussed this with the Board and we have agreed that now is the time to bring in a new CEO who can help us to commercialize our focused plan for spatial computing in enterprise. We have been actively recruiting candidates for this role and I look forward to sharing more soon.

“I have been leading Magic Leap since 2011 (starting in my garage). We have created a new field. A new medium. And together we have defined the future of computing. I am amazed at everything we have built and look forward to everything Magic Leap will create in the decades to come.

“I will remain our CEO through the transition and am in discussions with the Board with regards to how I will continue to provide strategy and vision from a Board level. I remain super excited about Magic Leap’s future and believe deeply in our team and all of their incredible talent and capabilities.”

Magic Leap enterprise

The company recently managed to raise $350 million, stemming the tide of job losses which have been taking place this year.

Whether Magic Leap’s fortunes improve because of the funding remains to be seen. As development’s continue VRFocus will let you know.

Magic Leap Manages $350m Funding Raise, Layoffs Currently on Hold

Magic Leap

Mixed reality (MR) headset manufacturer Magic Leap has been going through a tough time of late. Sales of its Magic Leap 1 haven’t been great, and last month its was reported a lot of employees would be losing their jobs. Now there’s been a bit of good news, the company has managed to raise $350 million USD.

Magic Leap

As first reported by Business Insider, that total has come from new and existing investors, helping Magic Leap put a halt to the layoffs. CEO Rony Abovitz sent a memo to remaining staff in late April revealing the details, noting: “We look forward to continuing normal operations.” 

That’s a sizable chunk of cash to raise considering Magic Leap’s performance over the last year but at least those still working for the company can feel a little more secure. How many were laid off before this news is unknown.

While the $3000 Magic Leap 1 has yet to find widespread success, Magic Leap itself has always been successful in securing funds. Over the years it has managed to raise over $2.6 billion from investors including Google, AT&T, Alibaba Group and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Magic Leap’s most recent valuation put it over $6 billion.

RelayCars Magic Leap 2

The last six months have seen Magic Leap shift its focus towards business, launching the Magic Leap Enterprise Suite in December 2019. With the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the lockdown and everyone working from home, a collaboration package was rolled out offering four Magic Leap 1 devices for a trial period of 45 days. Magic Leap teamed up with Spatial to facilitate holographic meetings, aiding productivity.

For those with a Magic Leap 1, developers have released a range of apps that aren’t purely about business, there are some entertaining ones too. Resolution Games recently released Glimt: The Vanishing at the Grand Starlight Hotel, a puzzle-filled detective mystery. While Insomniac Games’ Strangelets offers the chance to collect and nurture strange alien creatures.

On the educational side, there’s always BBC Earth – Micro Kingdoms: Senses encouraging users to learn about ants and spiders in their living room. As further details regarding Magic Leap’s fortunes arise, VRFocus will keep you updated.

Magic Leap Warns Of ‘Critical’ Battery Issue Days After Huge Layoffs

Magic Leap sent owners of its AR headsets a warning that they need to update their devices due to an issue related to the battery.

Developers received the email Tuesday April 28, less than a full week after massive layoffs on April 22 left the organization a fraction of its former size. The email to developers warns of a “critical” update to the software on the device because in “extremely isolated incidents” the battery contained in the processing pack for the AR headset “may expand or swell…when plugged into a charger continuously for an extended period of time.” The processor pack, called a “Lightpack”, is worn on the body during use.

magic leap puck

There’s also a website posted about the “Critical OS Update for Magic Leap One Creator Edition and Magic Leap 1” which explains that the software update will “minimize the likelihood of swelling” by activating a “Battery Saver Mode” when it is “connected to a charger for extended periods of time.” The company also suggests owners of the headset “to examine the bottom of your Lightpack to determine if the black silicone cover shows any signs of the battery inside of the Lightpack swelling (such as if you see the edge of the black silicone beginning to lift away or any sort of deformation on the bottom).”

The company says those affected can receive a “replacement device, free of charge.” I asked Magic Leap representatives if there’s a fire risk associated with the battery swelling issue and they’ve told me there’s “no evidence that there’s a fire risk.”

Magic Leap raised more than $2 billion for its AR efforts over the years but reportedly only sold 6,000 units of its first headset in the first six months.

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Magic Leap Cites COVID-19 In Layoff Notice After Report Of Slow Sales

AR headset maker Magic Leap is laying off “a number of employees” in what it says is a response to the difficulties raised by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A blog post from company founder Rony Abovitz today stated that “recent changes to the economic environment have decreased availability of captial”, which has led the company to take “a close look at our business and are making targeted changes to how we operate and manage costs.”

“This has made it necessary for us to make the incredibly difficult decision to lay off a number of employees across Magic Leap,” Abovitz said.

After raising billions in investment, Magic Leap finally launched an AR headset, the Magic Leap One Creator Edition, to markets in 2018 for $2,300. Similar to Microsoft’s HoloLens, the device projected virtual images into the real world, which users can interact with using a motion controller or hand tracking. The kit is powered by an external processor the user attaches to their waist.

At launch, Magic Leap focused on attracting consumers, with new games and experiences from famous developers such as Insomniac Games. But a report from The Information in late 2019 stated that Magic Leap was well behind in sales targets, with a successor still “years away”. Shortly thereafter, the company announced it was now pivoting towards businesses, much like Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 does.

“Adapting our company to these new market realities and our increased focus on enterprise means we must align our efforts to focus on the areas of our business that advance our technology, ensure delivery of Magic Leap 2, and expand product-market fit and revenue generation,” added Abovitz in today’s blog. “This transformation also means that we must decrease investments in areas where the market has been slower to develop, providing us with a longer runway while retaining the ability to explore and build on future use cases when the market signals readiness.”

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