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Google and Magic Leap strike up deal for AR partnership

It's unclear if the partnership could lead to the creation of an AR device.
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Published onMay 30, 2024

Google Magic Leap
Magic Leap
TL;DR
  • Google and Magic Leap announced they are entering into a strategic partnership.
  • The partnership will combine Magic Leap’s expertise in AR and optics with Google’s technology platforms.
  • It’s unknown if the partnership will result in a new AR device.

Google has canceled and revived its AR glasses project (Project Iris) multiple times. Despite its tumultuous relationship with the XR space, it doesn’t look like Google is giving up on augmented reality any time soon as it has entered into a partnership with Magic Leap.

On Thursday, Magic Leap announced in a blog post that it has formed a strategic partnership with Google. According to the post, the partnership will combine Magic Leap’s AR expertise and optics leadership with Google’s technology platforms. We have reached out to Google for further comment and will update this article accordingly.

In the press release, VP and GM of AR/XR at Google Shahram Izadi says:

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

While Google may have shelved plans to create its own AR hardware, the company has been working on creating a “micro XR” platform. This platform is said to be designed for AR glasses, and like its mobile OS, Google plans to license it to manufacturers.

We may have gotten a little taste of this during Google I/O when the tech giant showed off a demo for Project Astra. If you remember what happened during that demo, a person put on a pair of smart glasses that seamlessly worked with an AI chatbot. Magic Leap’s CTO Julie Larson-Green has told Reuters that she is eager to use some of the “cool AI tie-ins” with augmented reality that were announced during the developer’s conference earlier this month.

Before today’s announcement, Google was already working with Samsung to develop a platform for its upcoming XR products. However, according to Reuters, it appears the Magic Leap partnership will have no effect on Google’s collaboration with Samsung.

Earlier in the year, Google revealed during a media briefing that Samsung’s XR device wouldn’t be launched at Google I/O. The device will reportedly have its own “separate moment.”

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