Video: We tried Magic Leap One
The Magic Leap One augmented reality headset has launched for developers, creators, and enterprises for $2,295 -- and online furniture retailer Wayfair is betting the device can lead to new shopping experiences.
It's real, and it works. Whether it's more than a developer prototype, and whether it amazes you, is another story. My initial experience didn't blow me away, despite Magic Leap's promises. And yet, I came away thinking it's the best AR headset experience I've had to date.
When I read the tech sector's account of the Magic Leap launch I couldn't help but laugh. The cynic in me looked at the price, looked at the ecosystem disadvantages compared to Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon Web Services, and chuckled.
But I'll play along for now. Wayfair sure is.
AR use cases: How Verizon uses AR to train FiOS technicians in NYC | This medical pioneer trains digital doctors with AR and VR | How Sephora is leveraging AR and AI to transform retail and help customers buy cosmetics | GE's use of Google Glass on the factory floor gives boost to AR market | Honeywell's new AR and VR simulator uses Microsoft HoloLens to train the industrial workforce
Wayfair has been on the augmented, virtual and mixed reality bandwagon for a while. And for good reason: Furniture shopping online requires some visualization, and the ability to place goods into a setting. Amazon offers similar capabilities.
So, yes, there is a good retail case for AR. But Wayfair may be early relative to other enterprises. In its statement, Wayfair noted the following:
- The company's AR experience will be powered by Magic Leap's browser called Hello.
- Wayfair's experience will ship with the Magic Leap One and be a featured bookmark.
- Within Hello, Wayfair can allow you to place the browser anywhere in your space with on tap.
- You can then browse furniture and decor and pull items into your space and try different layouts. "With Magic Leap, we are setting a new precedent for a truly immersive shopping experience leveraging the power of mixed reality and the ease of web," said Steve Conine, co-chairman and co-founder of Wayfair.
It all sounds wonderful until you consider that the Magic Leap One will have limited availability. Wayfair's AR bet is sound, but the Magic Leap bandwagon may take a while to pay off -- if ever. But if AR does become the future of shopping, Wayfair will have a front row seat.
The real question is whether these various mixed reality platforms are the way to go versus something simple and browser-based. Amazon Web Services is simplifying AR development with browser based technologies, and it's likely that enterprises will go for that approach first. It's unclear that Magic Leap will develop the developer ecosystem to really find a business hook.
TechRepublic: 5 steps CXOs can take to enable AR and VR training for employees | Are AR and VR training technologies ready for the enterprise? | Why building AR apps could put developers on the cutting edge of digital content | Tech Pro Research: Virtual and augmented reality policy
- Upskill updates AR platform for easier enterprise deployment
- PTC's industrial IoT platform ThingWorx gets new apps, more AR support
- How video game tech, AR, and 3D models help these surgeons do their job
- AWS Sumerian: A bet that enterprise augmented and virtual reality will be browser-based
- Google aims to make web VR and AR "first class citizens" on browsers
- How Verizon is using AR to up the ante on FiOS technician training
- 11 upcoming AR trends that will redefine technology
- The urgent case for Open AR Cloud: Why we need a digital copy of the real world
MORE ON AR:
- Google's ARCore behind new AR consumer apps
- Toshiba's AR glasses skip HoloLens charm in putting Windows to work
- VR, AR or mixed: Which reality is best to sell your story?
- Vuzix launches new early access program for Alexa-enabled AR glasses
- Making wine bottles talk: How AR and VR marketing can bring brands and products to life
- Apple reportedly acquires AR startup Vrvana
- Amazon brings augmented reality feature AR View to Amazon app
MORE ON AR AND VR DEPLOYMENTS:
- AR and VR: The future of work and play?
- Research: 67 percent considering adoption of augmented reality in the enterprise
- Executive's guide to the business value of VR and AR (free ebook)
- Ten industries using augmented reality and virtual reality
- Five tips for creating virtual reality product demos
- Five ways augmented reality will transform your business
- GoInStore uses AR to blur the line between the online and in-store experience
- Five ways your company can get business value out of virtual reality