News: AT&T Expands Partnership with Magic Leap to Focus on Enterprise AR, Promises Nationwide 5G by 2020

AT&T Expands Partnership with Magic Leap to Focus on Enterprise AR, Promises Nationwide 5G by 2020

With CES in full swing, it seemed like Magic Leap would have little to announce at the major tech event, but it turns out that one of its partners has weighed in with a rather substantial update regarding the company.

On Wednesday, AT&T announced that it would be expanding its 5G technology-fueled partnership with Magic Leap to include enterprise business efforts.

Until now, most of what we've seen from the collaboration has involved entertainment and fostering developer engagement. During last year's L.E.A.P. conference, the two companies announced the development of a DirecTV app for the Magic Leap One, slated for release sometime this year. Later, the pairing produced a hackathon event in San Francisco for budding developers interested in the AR platform.

And just weeks ago, the two companies teamed up to deliver an augmented reality promotion in Chicago for the blockbuster film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Now that all the fun and games are out of the way, it appears the two companies are looking to get down to the more serious business of courting enterprise business customers seeking to harness the power of AR via AT&T's 5G network.

"Our initial focus areas are on manufacturing, retail, and healthcare," the announcement from AT&T states. "For example … [Allowing for the use of] applications like collaborative diagnostics, remote medical assessments, 3D imaging, and training. Imagine being able to speak to a doctor or nurse as if you were both sitting in the exam room together. Or, giving medical students the ability to 'practice' complex procedures before operating on a patient."

In addition to medical AR applications, AT&T also envisions its network support of Magic Leap extending to retail and manufacturing.

"For example, engineers can walk into a 3D engine, test it and make changes to the design all without having a physical engine in front of them," the company states. "[Or consumers could use AR on the network] to enhance the buying experience with the ability to 'try on' clothes or 'see' furniture placement in your home. For brick and mortar, this scenario brings together the best of the virtual and physical world, allowing consumers to recreate the in-store experience from the comfort of their home."

Aside from promising nationwide 5G by 2020 in today's announcement, AT&T didn't reveal any Magic Leap-specific launch dates or enterprise business partners.

However, we do know that AT&T has already been working to bring its 5G network to the AR startup's headquarters in Plantation, Florida for Magic Leap One testing, so the possibilities are likely already being discovered by the Magic Leap team.

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Cover image via YouTube/Univ. of Miami

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