AT&T, searching to give people another reason to buy Magic Leap’s pricey augmented-reality headset, plans to launch a DirecTV Now app for the AR headset next year.
The beta version of the DirecTV Now app for Magic Leap One will let users watch up to four live streams simultaneously, with the individual screens hovering in the air in front of you. Users can open new windows with a pop-up on-screen guide and switch the audio among each of the channels using the Magic Leap One’s controls (watch a demo below).
It makes for a cool demo — but it’s an open question whether live-streaming four TV channels is a compelling application in the regular world. The DirecTV Now app, at this point, feels like a proof-of-concept to show off what’s possible in the AR environment. For now, the only headset available from Magic Leap is the developer-oriented Magic Leap One, which is now on sale for $2,295. Magic Leap has said a less-expensive model, the Magic Leap Two, will be targeted at general consumers.
AT&T — among the investors in Magic Leap, which has banked a staggering $2.3 billion in funding to date — is the exclusive U.S. wireless distributor to consumers of Magic Leap One.
The telco has previously announced plans to support Magic Leap’s devices on its 5G networks, and AT&T on Wednesday said it plans to launch the first 5G test-zone on the Magic Leap campus in Plantation, Fla., in 2019. The telco set 5G launches for parts of 12 U.S. cities this year. “New and immersive experiences from Magic Leap’s developers eventually riding on the AT&T mobile 5G network will redefine entertainment and productivity,” said John Donovan, CEO of AT&T Communications, in a statement.
AT&T also said it will provide WarnerMedia content demos in select stores, including characters and scenes from new Warner Bros. films “reimagined” for Magic Leap’s platform. According to the telco: “Eventually films, shows and games could follow you out of the stores and onto the streets or into your home.”
AT&T also announced that it will host a Spatial Computing Hackathon in San Francisco Nov. 9-11. Developers, designers and creators can register and submit ideas for the event via shape.att.com. The telco made the announcements at Magic Leap’s L.E.A.P. conference in L.A. for developers and creators this week.
Separately, AT&T on Wednesday announced plans to roll out a new internet-streaming service spanning WarnerMedia properties, anchored by HBO and incorporating programming from Turner and Warner Bros.
Watch a product demo of the DirecTV Now app for Magic Leap:
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