Startup Magic Leap is set to create a fully mobile mixed reality headset in partnership with one national wireless carrier in the United States, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Rony Abovitz told CNET earlier this week. The collaboration has yet to be finalized and it’s presently unclear whether the Plantation, Florida-based firm already has a specific mobile service provider in mind, with its executive being scarce on the details, save for saying consumers should expect an official announcement on the matter by 2020. The plan itself is highly indicative of an Internet-enabled headset that wouldn’t require any kind of tethering and would be much closer to a pair of conventional glasses than the Magic Leap One, the firm’s first product that’s expected to start shipping later this year.
The startup repeatedly said that the Magic Leap One is just the first generation of its offerings that’s meant to test the waters and serve as a proof of concept while simultaneously providing developers and tech enthusiasts with an early look at the future of interactive user interfaces and mixed reality technologies. Regardless of its potentially disruptive design, Magic Leap’s product will likely live and die by its content, much like the vast majority of contemporary consumer electronics, with the firm now pursuing content partnerships in order to address that aspect of its offering. Earlier this week, Magic Leap hence announced a partnership with NBA that’s aiming to deliver an entirely new format of watching basketball games, with the project itself even receiving a blessing from Shaquille O’Neal.
Magic Leap blends the elements of virtual and augmented reality by delivering a solution that can not just inject digital characters into one’s perception of the world but do so in a manner that’s highly immersive, being able to accomplish things like changing the texture of an actual table or potentially even turning a real person into a digital avatar. Magic Leap is ultimately seeking to offer at least several versions of its headgear as part of every product generation, with the base model starting at approximately $1,000, according to the company’s previous statements on the matter. The Magic Leap One: Creator Edition is set to begin retailing at some point this year, being the first commercial result of the startup’s efforts that already received nearly $2 billion in backing from the Silicon Valley since 2010.