IT Visionaries
IT Visionaries
Oct 7, 2021
Making Magic by Integrating the Digital and Physical Worlds with Peggy Johnson, CEO of Magic Leap
Play • 44 min

When a new technology with tremendous potential rolls out, expectations are sky high. It’s going to be a magical technology that changes the world, right? If it doesn't take off immediately with consumers, there can be a tendency to overreact, be let down, give up, and move on to the next new thing that’s supposed to change the world. But what if the technology is augmented reality and it does, truly, change the way people see the world? Even though everyone isn’t walking around every second, using AR, just yet, augmented reality has been making great strides over the last decade. And Peggy Johnson, the CEO of Magic Leap, explains that digital augmentation will be the norm eventually.

“There will be a time again where we'll look back and say, ‘Remember when we didn't have digital augmentation in front of our eyes.’ Whether that'll be in the form of glasses that we'll wear or contacts maybe at some point, I do believe we will have that kind of capability as a tool to help us just get through our days, do our jobs, and to entertain us. This is the start of it.”

The way to combat overreacting when a new technology is not immediately broadly used is to simply realize that it takes time to change the world; in particular, how people see the world. With augmented reality, the complex goal is to seamlessly integrate physical and digital spaces. That’s a real challenge. Technological advancement of this magnitude takes patienceents and there are always fits and starts. But it’s happening right now.

On this episode of IT Visionaries, Peggy shares the state of AR today and where she sees it heading in the future. She also explains how technological advancement has a trajectory that can sometimes be misunderstood. If a technology does not immediately take off with consumers, some mistakenly write it off as a failure. She also discusses the journey trials and tribulations that Magic Leap has been through as a company, including how she’s helped the company pivot from a consumer-facing to product one that focuses solely on enterprise applications. Peggy clarifies that this is just part of the process as a powerful technology is often first directed toward consumers, then to enterprise, and then finally cycles back to consumers in a major way. Enjoy the episode!

Main Takeaways

  • It’s Okay to Pivot: Resisting change is like trying to try to stop the seasons. Magic Leap was first more consumer-focused but then pivoted to enterprise. Its initial consumer-facing approach helped to visually clarify what augmented reality could be. Now, there are many enterprise use cases for Magic Leap. 
  • Proving Value: For consumers, value is about having great content and then enough of it. For enterprise clients, proving value is also constant. Magic Leaps works with current application vendors of their enterprise clients to help heighten their existing applications with AR. Security and privacy are big concerns for companies that must be addressed too. In the enterprise-lane, the AR device typically needs to be used all day so it has to be very comfortable to wear: smaller, lighter, and not too hot. No one wants overheated employees.
  • Creating Ahead of the Curve: Being out front with new technologies requires a bold mentality. When a company creates products ahead of the curve, they have to make things that have never been made before. A company culture of innovation supported by similarly oriented partners gets great work done.
  • Vendors as Partners: There’s no doubt AR is complex and groundbreaking so new products and components need to be built all the time. In this sense, the supply chain is always having to catch up with very speedy tech. Having vendors that are more like partners help to keep the supply chain moving efficiently.

IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at salesforce.com/platform

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