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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Magic Leap is Google’s new thriller companion for XR headsets

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Google Glass and Magic Leap have been each amongst the biggest technology flops of the past decade — however might their underlying concepts energy one thing worthy and new? We could discover out as a result of Google and Magic Leap now have a “multi-faceted strategic expertise partnership” designed to “foster the way forward for the XR ecosystem with distinctive and progressive product choices.”

It isn’t in any respect clear what the deal includes, however the press release does repeatedly boast about Magic Leap’s optics and manufacturing experience — experience that, it claims, produces “highly-precise eyepieces with extremely excessive yield charges and high quality at scale.” (IIRC, the corporate itself has by no means shipped a headset with an MSRP beneath $2,000 and by no means shared gross sales numbers, so “scale” could also be relative.)

The thriller glasses prototype Google briefly teased at I/O.
Picture: Google

Many main tech firms chasing light-weight glasses are reportedly discovering their optical elements are troublesome to develop and costly to provide and are merely dipping toes within the water whereas they determine it out — like Apple with its heavy and expensive $3,500 Imaginative and prescient Professional, or Meta with its Quest 3’s passthrough mode or the light-weight Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses that don’t have a show in any respect however do have a generative AI voice assistant. (Talking of generative AI, it’s additionally sucked lots of air out of the VR / AR / XR room.)

However maybe Magic Leap has a expertise or a patent that Google thinks will assist it win the race to actually sensible glasses?

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If that’s the case, I wouldn’t look forward to finding out anytime quickly. Google additionally inked a thriller take care of Samsung and Qualcomm to provide a headset again in February 2023, and we’ve heard basically nothing about it from these firms since then — although the rumor mill suggests it would arrive by the end of 2024 and could possibly be revealed alongside the subsequent Galaxy Z Flip and Fold handsets.

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