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February 15, 2018

Magic Leap wants to take AR mobile via partnership with ‘major telco’

by John_A

AR/VR headset creator Magic Leap is planning on partnering up with a major telecommunication company in order to enter the mobile market, if an interview with CEO Rony Abovitz is to be believed.

The company’s first product — the Magic Leap One (ML1) — has been on the horizon for some time, and claims to be a huge leap forward in VR/AR headset quality. As you might expect, the inner workings of the headset are highly complex, as it uses light to digitally paint objects directly onto your sight. While that might sound uncomfortable, Magic Leap has claimed that the process does not exhaust users, and is far more convincing than competing products.

The issues? While the ML1 can go portable thanks to the small Lightpack base station, it’s primarily designed for indoors, and is not the most attractive-looking product. It’s also rather large and bulky — despite being a lot slimmer than the competition. So while the ML1 may be the first product to bring us truly convincing virtual alternate realities, it’s unlikely to be the product that takes the experience outdoors.

But Magic Leap appears to be planning ahead. According to the interview (via Cnet), the company has plans beyond its first headset, and is already looking at a range of devices, including one aimed at the mass market that will be priced around the current cost of a flagship phone (probably somewhere between $600-$900). This mass-market device is probably the device that Magic Leap is looking to partner with a “major telco” to create, and while details are scarce, it’s not hard to imagine a headset that connects via Bluetooth delivering a truly immersive AR experience for everyone. A partnership with a major player in telecommunications could also help with marketing of the device, getting the technology into the hands of as many people as possible.

Details from Magic Leap are fairly hard to come by; the company is notoriously secretive, and we don’t expect to hear the identity of its benefactor until the firm is good and ready to tell us. And with major donations to Magic Leap having come from everyone from Google to Qualcomm, it’s going to be hard to figure out who’s behind Magic Leap’s confidence.

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