May 30, 2019 – nreal, developer of ready-to-wear mixed reality glasses, has today announced at AWE2019 the availability of ‘nreal light’, the company’s consumer-grade smartglasses, for the price of USD $499. A developer edition was also launched today for USD $1,199.
The $499 package called the ‘nreal light Consumer Kit’ is comprised of one nreal light and will ship in limited quantities later this year. Mass availability of nreal light will be slated for 2020. nreal light is a simple, yet wearable sunglass-like design that features a 1080p display, and can be connected by a USB-C cable directly to compatible ‘XR optimized’ devices. The smartglasses are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform and support immersive content on-the-go.
“nreal light provides a light-weight XR Viewer that allows consumers to take advantage of 5G including high bandwidth and low latency to deliver immersive experiences virtually anywhere,” said Hugo Swart, head of XR at Qualcomm Technologies. Swart added: “We worked closely with nreal to ensure Snapdragon smartphone compatibility and ecosystem integration to transform the way people connect and consume entertainment, and to further advance XR to make it the next generation of mobile computing.”
As part of its mission to make mixed reality accessible to more consumers, nreal also announced its partnership with Black Shark, enabling nreal light to be tethered to the gaming smartphone, Black Shark 2.
“Paired with nreal light, the Black Shark 2 will be able to deliver the highest performance mobile gaming experience. nreal light will completely immerse our users in a fully interactive gaming environment that places you right in the heat of the moment,” said David Li, Global VP at Black Shark. “We are excited to work with nreal to usher in a new era of the mobile gaming experience.”
Commenting on today’s announcement, CEO and Founder of nreal, Chi Xu said: “We’re excited to finally make nreal light available to consumers, which at just $499 has dramatically lowered the barrier to adoption and introduces a new opportunity for mixed reality devices that are finally within the reach of an average consumer.”
Finally, nreal light wearers will be able to stream latency-free mixed reality content through 5G networks, enabling users to watch their favorite TV shows and mobile games. Powering this future of 5G-enabled buffer-free content in partnership with nreal, are carriers including China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, EE, KDDI, KT, LG Uplus, Softbank Corp. and Swisscom.
Since first being unveiled at CES 2019, nreal light has introduced new improvements to its form factor to offer more comfort, style and compatibility with more 5G devices:
- Improved Fit – nreal light now sits more securely on the wearer’s face by reducing the front-heavy pressure on the nose, for a more secure fit;
- Foldable Temples – nreal light will ship to developers with foldable temples, making it convenient for storage and easy access, while conforming to the sunglass form factor;
- Multiple Colors – nreal light will offer different colors, to be announced upon the processing of the orders.
Starting today, the developer package called the ‘nreal light Developer Kit,’ including the nreal light glasses, a 3 DoF controller and nreal’s proprietary computing pack, will be available to developers for USD $1,199. Developers can apply on https://nreal.ai/developer for an opportunity to purchase the nreal light Developer Kit. Developers will be selected on a rolling basis for the opportunity to purchase the kit, which will begin shipping in September 2019.
To inspire the development of content for nreal light, the company has also stated that an accompanying SDK will be made available for developers to migrate existing or create new applications that can be run on nreal light. One example of this being NextVR, which is showcasing its multi-view International Champions Cup soccer experience, adapted using the SDK at AWE2019 today.
“NextVR is fully committed to the 5G XR wearables ecosystem. We are excited to showcase how users will be able to see and interact with our content in 6 degrees of freedom on 5G XR wearables through our first multi-view demo on the nreal light SDK.” said David Cole, NextVR CEO. “nreal light will allow users to enjoy immersive content and also interact with the real world according to context. When users focus their attention exclusively on the NextVR content, it will fill their visual field and fully immerse them. This is a real force of change for the industry and both nreal and we are excited to be at the forefront of this transformation.”
The nreal light SDK will be supported in popular development environments, including Android Native and Unity, and will offer the following:
- Spatial Computing – nreal light offers 6 DoF (Degrees of Freedom) tracking. The accompanying SDK enhances apps by tapping into nreal light’s capability of understanding real world environments through the detection of feature points and planes;
- Multi-model Interactions – Controller-based interactions enable users to manipulate the superimposed digital environment or objects;
- Real-time Rendering – nreal light leverages the SDK’s ability to optimize apps for low latency, while still offering a heightened visual experience.
The nreal SDK will be available August 2019, with a beta version to be made available earlier.
Image credit: nreal
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.