The first public demo of Magic Leap’s upcoming mixed reality (MR) hardware did not live up to the lofty expectations set over the past year. Meanwhile, glimpses into this generation of Augmented Reality (AR) on mobile devices continue to bubble up; the anticipation is usually complemented with excitement from the public. On the surface it seems to be a clear case of mismanaged expectations across these markets, but the reality is much more complex. While expectation certainly factors into it, an increasingly knowledgeable public—whether enterprise customers or the general consumer populace—raises the bar for those playing in the market. There is an obvious contrast between Magic Leap’s public showings and the investments backing the platform totaling over US$2 billion, but it represents an inherent value in what the company’s offering can provide. While it may be underwhelming today, the potential recognized by investors over the past few years just needs to be fully realized, and that comes when both the market and the platform itself is more mature.
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