Technology 3 min read

Magic Leap Expands to South Korea with SK Telecom Deal

You might be more familiar with SK Telecom for their association with the video game League of Legends under their sponsorship name "SKT". The telecom juggernaut has now paired with innovative AR tech company Magic Leap to leverage AR technology across their upcoming 5G mobile network.

With this next step into Korea, Magic Leap is beginning to truly flex its AR wings. ¦ Image via Magic Leap

With this next step into Korea, Magic Leap is beginning to truly flex its AR wings. ¦ Image via Magic Leap

The Magic Leap One Creator Edition lets users do a lot of fantastic things. The AR technology empowers users to interact with their surroundings along with animated overlays. The goggle-like headset can even capture video of what the user sees.

The tech uses an Nvidia Tegra X2 processor and it can interpret hand gestures.

Many saw the influence Magic Leap would have over future AR innovations. AT&T jumped at an exclusive distribution deal last year and the growing company plans to expand into South Korea now with another partnership with Korean company SK Telecom.

Different from (and more expensive than) its VR headset cousins, the Magic Leap AR headset just augments your surroundings, so it offers more utility in a variety of ways just like the Microsoft HoloLens headset. | Magic Leap

A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

Though not many outlets reported it, Magic Leap announced the press release about the partnership on February 26, 2019. The plans involve an exclusive deal for both companies in South Korea.

For those unfamiliar with the company, SK Telecom serves as South Korea’s largest mobile operator. It remains one of South Korea’s largest wireless providers since its founding in 1984. The partnership means that the wireless company’s users gain access to spatial computing, as well as 5G technology via Magic Leap.

Called another part of the “Magicverse”, Magic Leap says that the two companies will work together to develop next-gen immersive media environments. They’ll pair Magic Leap’s platform and devices with SKT’s 5G network and jointly develop AR tech.

Though the current Magic Leap headset does not support 5G, future products will.

SK Telecom (or SKT) is also popular for their diverse interests, most notably their sponsorship of a famous League of Legends player known as “Faker”. | Korea Times

Not the Only Egg in SKT’s Easter Basket

It is common for big companies to “shop around” and SKT is doing just that. Not only have they connected with Magic Leap, but they also contacted Niantic.

That company also operates in the AR sphere with its popular app Pokémon GO.

This fits in with the long-term vision that chief executive Park Jung-ho subscribes to per comments in a Barcelona, Spain press briefing. He wants AR glasses to merge with laptops and smartphones, eventually supplanting both devices. He also sees them replacing TVs, too.

While these long-term goals remain fantasies, it will be interesting to watch how the South Korean telecom company leverages their newly acquired AR assets.

Read More: Magic Leap’s Mica is Not an AI Assistant, She’s an AI Replicant

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Juliet Childers

Content Specialist and EDGY OG with a (mostly) healthy obsession with video games. She covers Industry buzz including VR/AR, content marketing, cybersecurity, AI, and many more.

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