AT&T is taking the leap, signing on to provide exclusive mobile data service for Magic Leap’s long-hyped augmented reality glasses.
The two companies have yet to reveal the financial terms of AT&T’s stake, but they have laid out strategic plans that include giving the service provider exclusive distribution rights when the Magic Leap One is ready for release.
If it’s ever released…
Magic Leap either has something really f*cking awesome coming down the pike, or just the world’s most convincing PowerPoint: On top of AT&T, ML has landed backers like Google and Alibaba, without ever releasing a physical product.
The company has raised more than $2B for hardware and software development to date, and all we know for sure about the glasses is that when you put them on you look like Vin Diesel in the Chronicles of Riddick.
The company has promised a revolutionary mixed reality experience far more practical and advanced than your average excursions trying to catch a Charmander in the Pokemon GO app, and in December ML announced that they’ll finally release their “Creator Edition” later this year.
That’s where AT&T comes in
AT&T has been on a hot streak lately, persuading the DoJ to approve their $85B Time Warner acquisition and purchasing ad tech company AppNexus for $2B — so, hey, why not strike while they have the bandwidth?
As TechCrunch reports, carriers are crucial to getting portable devices into the hands of buyers by allowing them to bundle new devices with their current mobile subscriptions.
And, if ML’s tech takes off, it’s a huge win for AT&T (who also finagled an exclusive contract for the first few generations of iPhone).
In addition to distribution, the investment gives AT&T exclusive rights to work with Magic Leap in a plethora of areas, including network access, distribution of content, and devices.