Although companies like Microsoft and Google have targeted the augmented reality glasses market with the HoloLens/HoloLens 2 and Google Glass respectively, a company called nReal has announced AR glasses aimed directly at the consumer market. The aforementioned glasses from Microsoft and Google comes with high price tags that make them more suitable for enterprise applications, but nReal's lower price point could be a big advantage.
The company says that the nReal Light Consumer Kit will ship in limited quantities later this year for $499, while mass availability isn't scheduled to happen until 2020. The device connects via a USB-C cable directly to compatible "XR optimized" devices and is powered by a beefy Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC.
The AR glasses support immersive content on the go using a lightweight XR viewer. nReal says that viewer allows consumers to take advantage of 5G to deliver immersive experiences from virtually anywhere. The device that the company brags on for compatibility right now is the Black Shark 2 gaming phone that was announced in March.
nReal notes that it has worked with 5G networks to stream latency-free, mixed reality content over those networks so nReal light users can watch their favorite TV shows and play mobile games without buffering. The AR glasses were first unveiled at CES 2019 and have undergone some design modifications over the past few months.
Since CES 2019, the nReal light glasses have an improved fit by reducing pressure on the nose. The temples are now foldable like sunglasses for easier storage, and multiple color options will be offered. The company also notes that the nReal light Developer Kit is shipping with the glasses, 3 DoF controller, and the nReal proprietary computing pack for $1,199. The nReal SDK will be available in August 2019 with a beta version launching before that date.