AT&T and Magic Leap are expanding their partnership to include business solutions (T)


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Six months after AT&T teamed up with Magic Leap, a cutting-edge AR headset startup, to become the sole US wireless carrier for the company's headsets, the firms have announced the expansion of this partnership, according to a company statement.

FORECAST: Global Enterprise VR Hardware and Software Revenue

The two firms will now work together on business solutions, placing their initial focus on manufacturing, retail, and healthcare. More specifically, AT&T will provide connectivity for augmented reality (AR), mixed reality, and spatial computing business applications over its 5G network. 

What are some business solutions that could come out of this partnership? 

  • Manufacturers could use Magic Leap's headsets to collaborate on computer-aided design, saving time and money. For instance, a team of auto engineers could walk through a 3D engine, test components, and iterate on the design, all without having to work with a physical engine. 
  • E-commerce companies may choose to enhance the shopping experience by enabling customers to try on clothes or see how furniture would fit in their apartment through AR. These capabilities would combine the convenience of ordering products online with the in-store feel of being able to try out products, which could prove attractive to consumers.
  • In the healthcare field, Magic Leap headsets could be used for collaborative diagnostics, remote medical assessments, and training. For example, medical students could perform intricate procedures in a virtual setting before they're expected to operate on a human patient. 

AT&T's move to add connected headsets to its list of offerings is opening up the US carrier to significant revenue opportunities. It's estimated that 1.75 million stand-alone VR and AR headsets were shipped in 2018, according to IDC.

This figure is expected to skyrocket to 33.7 million units by 2022, giving AT&T a direct line to a lucrative market: The global subscription market for stand-alone AR and VR devices could be worth $337 million in 2022, according to Business Insider Intelligence estimates.

While these figures should be enough for any telecom to go after the connected stand-alone headset market, this sentiment only gets bolstered when taking enterprise solutions into account.Business Insider Intelligence expects worldwide enterprise VR hardware and software revenue will jump 587% to $5.5 billion in 2023, up from an estimated $800 million in 2018.

As such, not only did AT&T diversify its revenue sources by entering into the initial partnership with Magic Leap, but this expansion has taken that to a whole new level. Other carriers should take notice by strengthening their VR and AR solutions and partnerships.  

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SEE ALSO: VR isn't just for gamers — here's how Audi, Lowe's and Macy's are using it to boost sales and employee training

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