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AT&T deal hints augmented reality start-up Magic Leap is finally close to delivering

AT&T said that it will be showing Magic Leap One headset off to consumers in stores this year

Gulf News


Magic Leap, the start-up that’s been teasing a revolutionary pair of augmented reality goggles for almost a decade, took another small step toward actual reality.

AT&T announced Wednesday that it’s entered into an agreement with Magic Leap to sell exclusively a version of its Magic Leap One headset that works over cellular networks. The companies aren’t saying how long the exclusivity agreement will last, but spokeswoman Marina Zecy said it is a “multi-year term.”

Magic Leap has generated a lot of hype for its glasses with concept videos that seamlessly blend the real world with digital objects, but there’s been precious little said about when people will actually be able to get their hands on one.

The company was founded in 2010, but didn’t announce a launch date for its first product, the Magic Leap One, until this June. In a live-stream Wednesday, the company narrowed that down to “this summer” — though it still hasn’t given a firm date.

AT&T said that it will be showing the product off to consumers in stores this year, in cities such as Atlanta, New York and San Francisco.

“Coupling the strength of the evolving AT&T network with Magic Leap’s spatial computing platform can transform computing experiences for people,” Rony Abovitz — Magic Leap’s founder, president and chief executive — said in a statement.

Magic Leap declined to comment when asked if it would also release a version of the headset that worked only over WiFi networks.

AT&T has invested an undisclosed amount in Magic Leap, joining other notable investors including Alibaba, Google and JPMorgan. The start-up has raised as much as $6 billion in funding overall, according to Bloomberg.