Google and Magic Leap Form XR Partnership

It remains unclear what the alliance will yield

Google and Magic Leap Form XR Partnership - XR Today News
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Published: May 31, 2024

Tom Wright

Tom Wright

Google and Magic Leap have partnered to “advance the potential of XR technologies”, the latter has said in a blog post.

The announcement was light on detail, but Magic Leap said the tie-up would combine its AR credentials with Google’s technology platforms. Google is already an investor in Magic Leap.

Magic Leap Chief Technology Officer Julie Larson-Green said: “This partnership accelerates the transformative power of AR by combining our extensive optics capabilities with Google’s technologies to continue to advance immersive experiences to the developer ecosystem and for customers.

“We are looking forward to expanding the potential of XR – blending the physical world with valuable, contextually relevant solutions.”

“By combining efforts, we can foster the future of the XR ecosystem with unique and innovative product offerings.”

Crucially, the release did not reveal if the pair planned to release a jointly developed AR device.

Google has had a love-hate relationship with augmented reality over the years. It was the early frontrunner with Glass, only for the device to be largely snubbed by the consumer market. A second crack, in enterprise form, was retired last year.

The rumoured Project Iris headset, which at one stage looked like it was launching this year, has also failed to materialise amid rumours of its abandonment.

Google does, however, have irons in the fire. The firm is set to launch an XR video conferencing solution with HP in 2025, and recently partnered with Qualcomm and Samsung to power the latter’s upcoming headset.

Shahram Izadi, Vice President and General Manager of AR/XR at Google, said: “We look forward to bringing together Magic Leap’s leadership in optics and manufacturing with our technologies to bring a wider range of immersive experiences to market.

Enterprise Focus

At CES 2024, Magic Leap CEO Ross Rosenberg and CTO Daniel Diez discussed the company’s updated roadmap following a significant 2023, which saw a leadership shake-up.

Since Rosenberg’s appointment in October, Magic Leap has refocused on enterprise and industrial clients for its XR devices. He described the current phase as “chapter three,” focusing on commercial adoption and establishing customer use cases.

Magic Leap collaborates with enterprise clients like Siemens to showcase its competitive XR display for industrial applications. Potential sectors benefiting from their XR technology include healthcare, military training, and office environments.

Diez added that Magic Leap targets industrial settings, such as immersive training for complex procedures requiring detailed digital twins and precise tracking.

The company aims to adapt its products to evolving market demands, moving beyond the metaverse hype to practical applications.

Magic Leap also secured $590m from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, boosting its valuation to over $4.5bn and supporting its enterprise-focused “chapter three” roadmap. The XR marketplace is becoming increasingly competitive, with companies like Magic Leap, Apple, and Meta vying for dominance.


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