What you need to know
- The new Nreal Air AR glasses and its iPhone-supporting dongle Nreal Air Adapter are now available in the U.S. through Amazon.
- The glasses are lighter and cheaper than the previous Nreal Light AR glasses.
- The glasses' Nebula software has been updated to support specific MacBooks and other improvements.
Augmented reality glasses maker Nreal announced that its latest pair of AR glasses, the Nreal Air, has launched in the U.S. starting today, Sept. 27. The glasses and the separately sold Nreal Air Adapter are now available through Amazon for $379 and $59, respectively.
The Nreal Air is launching two years after the company's previous Nreal Light AR glasses for $599, which had appealed more to developers and enthusiasts. The company says the new pair is aimed at a more "mainstream" audience with its sunglasses-style design and lower price.
The Nreal Air AR glasses are 25% lighter and consumes 50% less power than its predecessor, but has a few changes that accommodate its form factor and price point. It features a 46 degree field of view with three degrees of freedom (DoF) in contrast to the Nreal Light's 52 degree FOV and six DoF, but has removed the two simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) cameras and front-facing RGB cameras.
The Nreal Air Adapter also debuting today is a dongle that allows iPhone users to watch movies or other media from various streaming services and apps like TikTok on a 130-inch virtual screen through the glasses. The glasses' Nebula software only offers screen mirroring "at the outset" for iOS, while Android users can still control view their entire phone through the lens. The dongle also requires a separate Lightning to Digital AV Adapter cable to work.
The virtual screen when mirroring the screen can be expanded to 200 inches and locked in place with AR mode. It works with playing games through smartphones, consoles, and cloud services such as Xbox Cloud Gaming and Stadia.
Alongside the launch, Nreal is introducing a Mac version of Nebula for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops containing Apple chips. When connected, it launches a UI called AR Desktop with multiple windows displayed in the air.
The Nebula software is also being updated with a redesigned AR Space containing "a borderless curved wall design and a highly interactive menu with animated 3D icons," while its Spatial Browser now offers horizontal and vertical display modes. A new app called Teleport from XRay Studio will be coming later this year, and allows Nreal Air wearers to scan structures with their phones and leave photos, text, and audio messages for other users.
The Nreal Air is lighter, contains a longer-lasting battery, and is cheaper than the previous Nreal Light AR glasses. It is also now compatible with MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iPhone.
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Thomas Meyer fell in love with video games starting in the mid '90s with a NES, Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, and Jack Nicklaus' Greatest 18 Holes of Major Championship Golf. He hasn't stopped and is not planning to anytime soon. Freelance for Android Central and Windows Central.