- Magic Leap, a startup building a pair of smartglasses, announced a partnership with AT&T on Wednesday.
- AT&T stores will demo the hyped glasses at select locations in the United States.
- Magic Leap has raised $2.3 billion to build its glasses. It said that the glasses will ship later this year to "qualified designers and developers."
Multi-billion dollar startup Magic Leap has been hunkered down in suburban Miami building a pair of secretive smart glasses that can place sophisticated computer graphics into the real world.
It's almost ready to be shown to the world. And among the first public demos that aren't for potential hires, partners, investors, VIPs or employees will take place in AT&T stores, according to a press release from the telecom giant.
Magic Leap's glasses, "Magic Leap One, Creator Edition," will ship "later this year to qualified designers and developers," according to the release.
But if you're not a qualified developer, you can try the device in AT&T stores, but not every single kiosk will get a pair of the glasses. Current AT&T customers will be able to "experience it" at certain stores in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, although the timeline for those experiences is unclear.
A Magic Leap representative declined to answer questions about when the experiences would open, if they would be limited to AT&T customers, or whether the exclusivity agreement prevents other retailers from carrying the glasses.
Magic Leap One is what's often called an "augmented-reality" headset, although the company's CEO, Rony Abovitz, prefers the phrase "mixed reality." The glasses connect to a small computer that is worn on the user's belt and its software is controlled through gestures and a controller.
The deal with AT&T also strongly implies that some versions of the Magic Leap hardware will have a cellular connection. AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan mentioned next-generation cellular networks, often called "5G," in the press release.
"Coupling the strength of the evolving AT&T network with Magic Leap's spatial computing platform can transform computing experiences for people," Abovitz said in a statement.
Wednesday's announcement did not include a price for the device, although it's expected to be expensive. Business Insider previously reported that people close to the company expect it to cost between $1000 and $1500. Abovitz said earlier this year that the first unit will be priced similarly to a "high-end PC."
Magic Leap raised $2.3 billion in funding from investors, including Google, Alibaba, Singapore's Temasek Holdings, and Saudi Arabia's sovereign investment arm, valuing the company at over $6 billion. Business Insider parent company Axel Springer is an investor, too.
But even with that amount of capital, concerns about how much Magic Leap is spending remain. The company has offices around the country, over 1000 employees, and has been spending $50 million per month, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
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