AT&T to sell Magic Leap's augmented reality gadget in U.S.

FILE PHOTO: The AT&T logo is seen on a monitor on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S. June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - AT&T Inc has partnered with Magic Leap Inc, a secretive augmented reality startup backed by tech giants Google and Alibaba, to exclusively sell its wireless gadgets in the United States, the telecom company said on Wednesday.

Magic Leap said it will demo its first product later in the day - a lightweight, wearable computer with augmented reality features. The product, Magic Leap One, is scheduled to ship later this year to designers and developers.

The company’s technology creates lifelike virtual objects that seamlessly blend with natural objects when viewed through its headsets.

"This advanced technology allows our brain to naturally process digital objects the same way we do real-world objects, making it comfortable to use for long periods of time," Magic Leap said

AT&T customers can buy the gadget in stores in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, with more markets to follow, AT&T said.

While the company has been working in secret for years, releasing little information about its products, competitors such as Facebook Inc have gained ground with its Oculus virtual reality headsets.

Magic Leap boasts marquee investors such as Alphabet Inc’s Google, Qualcomm, Alibaba, Time Warner’s Warner Bros and Singapore government-owned investment firm Temasek Holdings [TEM.UL].

The well-funded start-up raised $461 million in its latest funding round in March, led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign investment arm, taking the total funding to over $2.3 billion to date.

Reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty