So far, we analysed two heavyweights in the market of Augmented Reality headsets: Microsoft with their HoloLens and Magic Leap with Magic Leap One. In this article, we will analyse the smaller but nevertheless promising company nreal.
This company is relatively ‘young’, as it was founded in January 2017 in Beijing. Their main goal is to create an AR headset that is small enough to be comfortable for everyday use. The company promises: ‘nreal is devoted to bring mixed reality closer to reality.’
An interesting fact is that this revolutionary company is founded and still managed by Chi Xu, who is an ex-Magic Leap engineer. He considers the bulkiness of AR headsets their main issue. Chi Xu claims: ‘You wouldn’t want to wear them for more than one hour’. The nreal AR headset, on the other hand, compares to regular sunglasses; it’s only 85g!
The two-year-old start-up has already managed to get some big-name investors on board. They have raised $31 million so far in total funding.
The headset will come with a price tag of only – get ready - $499. This price tag dramatically lowers the barrier for acquisition, says CEO Chi Xu. Besides the consumer headset, nreal also will be offering a developer version of their headset, which is priced at $1,199 and will be available starting September 2019.
We are very excited to work with nreal's hardware as soon as it comes out! Colin Yao, our Head of Engineering, has tried their AR glasses during AWE 2019 and he is really impressed. ‘This lightweight headsets really feel like glasses, they have great visual quality, colour and FOV (Field of View) at 1080p per eye with 16:9 aspect ratio’. We also cannot forget that they support 5G. The only bad thing he mentioned was the battery life, which only lasts 3h.
At their current price, they will be strong competitors to the rather bulky and pricey HoloLens and Magic Leap One.