AT&T said it has struck a deal with Magic Leap to invest in the secretive startup, provide mobile data service and become the “exclusive wireless distributor” of its products.
Right now, Magic Leap has announced a single product, an augmented reality headset with a portable computer pack and controller called Magic Leap One. Magic Leap announced the device last year and said that it would be built for developers, designers and creatives, making it competitive with Microsoft’s HoloLens headset.
The Creators Edition device will ship later this summer, Magic Leap representatives said during an event offering a “closer look” at Magic Leap One streaming on Twitch today.
The deal with AT&T points to grander ambitions beyond a headset just for designers and developers. AT&T noted that Magic Leap One will be available for consumers to experience at select AT&T stores in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco later this year, with more markets to follow. Magic Leap has yet to formally announce a consumer version of Magic Leap One.
“We’ve joined with AT&T because we believe in a combined vision of expanding high-speed networks, edge computing, and deep integration with creative content,” Rony Abovitz, founder, president and CEO of Magic Leap said in a statement. “Coupling the strength of the evolving AT&T network with Magic Leap’s spatial computing platform can transform computing experiences for people.”
In addition to unveiling this new partnership, Magic Leap will offer “closer look” at Magic Leap One in an event streaming on Twitch later today.
Magic Leap One promises to lay virtual objects over the real world in an experience more advanced than other headsets including HoloLens. It is composed of three main devices. The “Lightwear” glasses have a unique look that stands out from other virtual reality headsets. The “Lightpack” is a pocket-size cylindrical computer that powers the device, allowing users a higher degree of freedom from most virtual reality headsets that are tethered to a computer. And the controller offers “six degrees of freedom” with a thumb-operated control pad.
Though it has kept its plans mostly close to the vest, save for a couple of public displays, Magic Leap has managed to compile a massive war-chest from an all-star cast of investors. The startup, which is based in Florida but opened a Seattle office in 2016, has raised close to $2 billion in its lifetime, from heavy hitters like Google, Alibaba, Andreessen Horowitz, Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital and others.