October 1, 2021 – Nreal, a developer of ready-to-wear extended reality (XR) glasses, has introduced its first pair of augmented reality (AR) sunglasses with the launch of ‘Nreal Air’, the company’s AR sunglasses offering designed for all-day comfort.
According to Nreal, the sunglasses are lightweight weighing just 77 grams, making them much lighter than the company’s mixed reality ‘Nreal Light’ glasses that were launched back in 2019 and which weighed 106 grams. Nreal Air also comes in a modern sunglasses style form factor, although we are yet to see any pictures of the sunglasses being modelled by anyone in the company’s announcement photographs as of yet.
Going head to head with Facebook and Ray-Ban’s newly released ‘Ray-Ban Stories’ could be tough for Nreal though, as the company’s previous glasses form factors have looked somewhat awkward whilst being worn by users – certainly not the sort of thing you’d be able to get away with wearing as a normal, stylish pair of sunglasses anyway. Facebook however managed to partner with one of the leading and most well known names in designer sunglasses to release its first AR sunglasses. Let’s hope the new Nreal Air glasses don’t sit quite as high on the bridge of the wearer’s nose.
However, the main difference that the Nreal Air glasses have over the Ray-Ban Stories is that the Nreal Air features a high resolution OLED display. This in our opinion makes them more of a “true augmented reality” sunglasses offering (Stories have no such display functionality, and instead come with cameras, speakers, with functionality controlled by voice commands).
According to Nreal, the 49 pixels-per-degree micro-OLED display offers a 90Hz refresh rate, a 46 inch field of view, and is able to project to users what appears in front of them as a 130-inch virtual display. The sunglasses therefore allow users to stream TV shows, play mobile games, watch multimedia content, and also utilize Nreal’s new ‘Watch Party’ platform – a new shared digital space that enables users to share a single AR screen with multiple people.
Additionally, the Nreal Air offers compatibility with Apple iOS devices and will support both iPhones and iPads. The sunglasses will also be compatible with most Android devices. Connecting to devices still requires tethering with a cable, as it did with the Nreal Light device. However, Nreal stated that the glasses will provide an “immersive experience in a form factor indistinguishable from daily worn sunglasses”, adding that Nreal Air “stands out for blending in”.
Nreal Air will be coming to Japan, South Korea and China in partnership with leading cell carriers in these countries starting December 2021, and rolling out to other markets throughout 2022. Although no price has been set, the company noted that Nreal Air will cost less than the Nreal Light glasses, which had a price tag of $499 upon release for the consumer version.
To find out more about Nreal and its XR glasses offerings, please visit the company’s website.
Image credit: Nreal