Nreal, a Beijing-based developer of ready-to-wear mixed reality glasses, has partnered with Qualcomm and LG Uplus.
Last week, Nreal announced it had raised an additional $16 million in funding to make its lightweight smart glasses into a powerful and immersive experience. The money came from China Everbright Limited New Economy Fund, iQiyi, Shunwei Capital, and China Growth Capital. The latest raise comes just one month after the company announced a $15 million round at the CES 2019 tech trade show in Las Vegas. That was where I saw a demo of its high-quality mixed reality glasses.
Nreal said at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona that it will have cross-platform compatibility with smartphones that use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 5G mobile platform. The smart glasses can be connected by a USB-C cable to a smartphone, tapping into the computing power of the phone.
The Nreal Light smart glasses will operate with low latency and high data throughput while on the go, allowing you to do things like seamlessly stream content from a smartphone to your glasses, where you can view the content. The glasses have a remarkably wide 52-degree field of view (FoV) and high-definition 1080p resolution. Nreal said they can be worn for hours at a time, since they only weigh 3 ounces (85 grams), not much more than ordinary glasses.
By partnering with smartphone brands, Nreal said it has opened up a new wave of possibilities for 5G wearables that interact with the virtual world. Whether you’re playing a mixed reality game with close to zero latency on your train ride home or conducting a buffer-free holographic video call with your colleague while out of the office, a smartphone will no longer be your sole interface to the internet, Nreal said.
Supported by 5G, Nreal said it is making access to a full mixed reality experience more available to mass consumers.
“Qualcomm is spearheading the next breakthrough in internet connectivity with 5G, while LG Uplus is forward-thinking by offering value-added compatible devices that extend the capability of smartphones,” said Nreal CEO Chi Xu in a statement. “With Qualcomm and LG Uplus’ support, Nreal will make it easier than ever to make mixed reality accessible by offering a platform that lowers the barriers to entry, through form factor, usability, and an affordable price.”
In collaboration with Qualcomm ecosystem partners, SenseTime and NetEase will develop the first set of mixed reality content for Nreal Light.
Nreal currently has 72 employees.