The Affordable AR solution from Nreal
With the recent news of Unreal Engine providing early access support for HoloLens 2 it got us thinking at OSF why all the big name AR solutions cost £2,000+ and and what are the alternatives for individual or small teams looking to start developing in spatial application.
We found one that’s shipping soon – Nreal Lightn – $499
These are on the way and its not just about the low cost, we found a solution which appears to have the potential to grow alongside industry giants like Magic Leap and HoloLens’s. The Nreal Light AR Glasses caught our attention mostly because of the attractive $499 price tag. But upon further research Nreal surprised us with the amount of tech within the small device. The glasses provide a rather wide viewing angle of 52°, a resolution of 1080p, 6 degrees of movement tracking which is the same viewing angle as the HoloLens 2 and even better than the first HoloLens which only provided 30 degrees view. Crucially for spacial application development, these AR glasses also offers Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping capabilities, and DTS audio, allowing developers to have total freedom of what they want to create in space. Also, thinking ahead the product claims to be future proofed for the next 5-10 years due to its 5G capabilities.
It’s Down Falls
It’s not out yet is the biggest downer and unfortunately the product will come with some draw backs… the biggest one being the cable connected Snapdragon 845 computing unit which has to be brought around with the headset. This does affect the products appeal and could become more of a hinderance. But miniaturisation and better interconnectivity will eventually solve this.
The Headset also comes with a controller. Neither the HoloLens or Magic Leaps come with a controller because they provide accurate finger tracking, the Nreal Light does provide movement tracking so potential for finger tracking controls is there but may just need developing or the movement tracking isn’t currently accurate enough.
The first fashionable AR glasses look great
The Nreal does provide the most aesthetic AR headset currently on the market with its slim stylish body design, which is clearly more comfortable and wearable than the HoloLens or Magic leaps. Although this raises concern I’d prefer a more powerful computer and a bit of a heavier headset than a mediocre slim headset, personally. But like I’m no VOGUE reader.
Nreal may be the best AR solution for the price tag at $499 which is $2,500 cheaper than the HoloLens 2 and Magic Leap one. So let’s cut the Nreal Light some slack and give some credit for even trying to provide a low tier solution for spacial developers.
Nreal Light release date (we’ll update this as it happens)
For now, Nreal Light glasses are said to be coming to the market this year in limited quantities with no fixed date yet set, and then Nreal hopes to mass market the product from the beginning of 2020, we’ll update you on this as and when product release date news comes out.