AR giant Magic Leap's top executives break down their key advantages over rivals like Microsoft and Meta

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AR giant Magic Leap's top executives break down their key advantages over rivals like Microsoft and Meta
Peggy Johnson is the CEO of Magic Leap.Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images
  • Magic Leap executives laid out why the AR company has an edge over rivals Meta and Microsoft.
  • The CTO and CFO say they're catering to the business world, not trying to create an "alternative universe."
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Magic Leap's top two executives believe their augmented reality firm has a significant leg up on competitors like Microsoft and Meta, formerly known as Facebook.

In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the CEO Peggy Johnson and CTO Julie Larson said their products have a unique proposition compared to rivals: a broader purpose, without gimmicks.

"We are also focused on really working on a tool for work, we are not going into trying to create this whole alternative universe or world that people are going to live in," Larson said, adding that Magic Leap is working towards producing tools to solve problems for people.

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Larson, the CTO, said another differential is approaching products from the high-end while waiting for things like battery life to catch up.

"So we are starting out with all the learning you can get here and bringing it down," Larson said. "Other folks are starting lower and bringing it up, which I believe is a lot harder."

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Johnson, meanwhile, owed Magic Leaps' edge over the competition to color fidelity, image quality, text legibility, and other factors.

"It's an industry-leading field of view in augmented reality, and it produces the most immersive AR device out there — and that sets us apart from a lot of the devices you see on the market today," Johnson said.

The CEO said its competitors' products are merely heads-up displays that are suited for a smaller number of use cases — not in real workplace settings, like in hospitals and factories.

"Those sorts of things are where Magic Leap really stands apart and excels," Johnson said.

Magic Leap was founded in 2010 and has since become a big player in the AR industry.

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Its Magic Leap 2 goggles were released in March and feature dimming capabilities as well as an improved field of view in a bid to appeal to the enterprise market. The company announced a major pivot in mid-2020 toward catering to the business world.

Meta has also been striving to compete in the AR and VR game, having acquired startup Oculus in 2014. The company said in January that it was killing off the Oculus name — the Oculus Quest headsets will soon be called the Meta Quest.

Mark Zuckerberg has since tried to force the concept of the metaverse into the mainstream, changing the name of Facebook's parent company to Meta, named so to reflect the company's goal of working toward the metaverse.

And Microsoft has used its HoloLens headset to push into the mixed-reality world. But as Insider's Ashley Stewart reported in February, internal turmoil and canceled projects have disrupted plans for the company's metaverse vision.

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