Chinese augmented reality glasses maker Nreal rebrands as Xreal as it takes on tech giants
Nreal, a Chinese augmented reality glasses firm, rebranded as Xreal. Co-Founder Peng Jin informed CNBC this displays the corporate’s expanded product vary and worldwide enlargement.
Chinese augmented reality (AR) glasses maker Nreal on Thursday mentioned it rebranded to Xreal — a reputation it hopes will encapsulate its enlargement into Europe and newest merchandise.
Peng Jin, co-founder of Xreal informed CNBC in an interview that the “X” within the new branding displays the corporate is “increasing past what we thought was attainable” and highlights new AR functions. The firm, whose merchandise are already offered within the U.S., U.Ok., China, Japan and South Korea, is planning to launch into European markets within the third quarter of the 12 months.
Augmented reality refers to know-how that permits digital photos to be imposed over the true world and represents an space of present funding for the world’s largest tech firms, from Apple to Meta. It is a key know-how within the so-called “metaverse.”
Xreal makes two fashions of a headset that appears like sun shades — the Xreal Air and Xreal Light — which run the corporate’s personal working system, known as Nebula. Like Apple with iOS on iPhones, builders could make apps for Nebula that individuals can then use through Nreal headsets.
When folks put on their headsets and open an app, they are going to see a big model of that content material in entrance of their eyes. But Nebula is just obtainable for Android gadgets, limiting its enchantment. On Thursday, Xreal introduced a brand new piece of drugs known as Xreal Beam, which it describes as an “iPod-shaped machine” that may join, wired or wirelessly, to smartphones, gaming consoles and PCs.
This will permit somebody with nearly any machine to make use of the headset. One of the important thing areas Xreal is concentrating on is gaming. For instance, you possibly can join Xreal Beam to a gaming console, such as PlayStation, after which play a sport on an enormous digital display screen inside your glasses slightly than on a bodily TV.
Since its business launch final 12 months, Xreal mentioned it has offered 150,000 merchandise globally. Jin didn’t give particular numbers, however mentioned Xreal is trying to “double or triple” its gross sales within the coming 12 months.
He additionally revealed the corporate is trying to elevate cash. CNBC reported that Xreal fundraised $100 million in 2021 — which on the time valued the corporate at $700 million — adopted by $60 million from Chinese e-commerce big Alibaba final 12 months. Xreal has some high-profile backers that embody Nio Capital, the funding arm of electrical carmaker Nio, as effectively as enterprise firm Sequoia Capital China.
Rising AR and VR competitors
Augmented and digital reality are drawing curiosity from a few of the world’s greatest know-how firms. Meta has pinned its future to such improvements, whereas Apple is reportedly working on its personal virtual reality headset and gaming big Sony final 12 months launched its second digital reality headset called PlayStation VR2.
Jin mentioned the competitors will assist broaden the market.
“When you will have firms like Sony and even Apple begin investing within the area it brings extra consideration to this normal path, it will draw extra expertise,” Jin informed CNBC.
But Xreal operates in an fascinating area. Its headset can be utilized with consoles just like the PlayStation, so that individuals can play a sport on an enormous digital display screen slightly than a TV.
This just isn’t a direct competitor to the PSVR 2, which immerses gamers as in the event that they had been within the precise sport. But it does pose questions on whether or not firms could transfer to dam Xreal’s machine sooner or later, a danger not misplaced on Jin.
“I’m not saying these firms won’t someday resolve to construct their very own AR glasses and resolve to dam us. I m not saying that is not going to occur. But there’s a lot extra to realize than simply blocking us,” Jin mentioned.