Google and Magic Leap partner up to make metaverse goggles despite past flops

Magic Leap recently announced “a multi-faceted, strategic technology partnership” with Google to develop new extended reality technologies.

The partnership marks what could be considered an odd pairing in the tech world. Google recently trimmed down its augmented and extended reality teams (AR/XR) and Magic Leap is the creator of one of the field’s biggest flops. Still, as this news could indicate further competition for Apple and Meta when it comes to metaverse hardware and experiences, it very well could bode well for the metaverse as a whole.

The partnership will highlight Magic Leap’s advances in the field of optics alongside Google’s infrastructure, according to a statement from Magic Leap CTO Julie Larson-Green:

“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.”

The press release doesn’t describe any actual products or announce any potential services, but it’s possible that this could indicate a new headset fit for AR/XR and, as such, some much needed competition for the current market leaders in Meta and Apple.

Related: Apple is poised to bring metaverse mainstream and dominate the market

As the Verge’s Sean Hollister pointed out in a recently published article, it’s unclear exactly what Google is getting from the deal. Its ability to create bespoke hardware is evident in its suite of in-house products ranging from the Pixel smartphones all the way to its well-reviewed smart speakers. But, when it comes to AR/XR headsets and goggles, Magic Leap and Google’s individual efforts in the Magic Leap and Google Glass headsets respectively have been most notable for their failure.

Hollister speculates that the partnership could be the result of Magic Leap holding a patent or…

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