Augmented reality’s half-decade of stagnation – TechCrunch
Hello readers, and welcome back to Week in Review!
Last week, I talked about the future of this newsletter and what’s coming next. The short of which is that in the coming weeks I will be winding down my time authoring the Week in Review newsletter as I start sending out a brand new newsletter for TechCrunch called Chain Reaction focused exclusively on crypto, web3 and the metaverse — with all of its ridiculousness and intrigue.
The extra-thrilling element is that this weekly newsletter will have a weekly podcast attached to it, which I will share some more details on soon.
I currently send out Week in Review to a couple hundred thousand subscribers (and you’ll all continue to receive it as I pass the baton to my colleague Greg Kumparak who will take it over.) That said, Chain Reaction is starting from square one so it would mean a lot if you pre-subscribed to the newsletter so that it lands in your inbox on day one. You can do so on the TechCrunch newsletter page. Please!
Now that my groveling is out of the way, you still have me for a few more weeks so let’s get to the meat of this week’s update. Remember Magic Leap? I tried out their unreleased new headset and chatted with the company’s CEO about the startup’s wild ride thus far. So, let’s talk about it.
the big thing
This week, I spent an hour or so playing around with the unreleased next-generation Magic Leap headset, all while discussing the augmented reality company’s wild ride with Magic Leap CEO Peggy Johnson and other members of their executive team. Ultimately, Magic Leap is on the road to delivering a very fascinating device, but in spite of that, the broader industry has publicly stagnated so much in the nearly five years since the company revealed its first device that the augmented reality opportunity has still never felt more distant.
Few startups have been publicly subjected to corporate humiliation quite as drastically as augmented reality goggles maker Magic Leap has been in recent years. It’s a saga that has slowed the progress of an industry — hyped as the inevitable successor to mobile phones — to a crawl.
The Florida startup infamously raised billions in venture capital funding on the promise of bringing a new technological future to consumers, much more impactful than the launch of the iPhone. When it finally launched its first product after years of delays, secrecy and hype, tech watchers balked at a device which failed to deliver on many of the claims made by the startup’s eccentric founder Rony Abovitz and instead made largely incremental gains over the competing Microsoft HoloLens which was unveiled years earlier. Oculus founder Palmer Luckey called the device a “tragic heap” and sales of the device flopped — The Information reported that the company sold just 6,000 of the devices in the six months following its long-awaited launch.
“[Magic Leap’s previous marketing strategies] were incredible for driving a lot of…
This content was originally published here.