XREAL Air 2 Ultra, priced at $699, emerges as a bold challenger to the Apple Vision Pro, promising affordable AR experiences. Unveiled at CES 2024, these glasses redefine the XR development landscape with six degrees of freedom. With a sleek design and partnerships with major players, XREAL aims to revolutionize spatial computing interfaces. CEO Chi Xu envisions a self-contained wearable computer in glasses within the next five years, signaling a paradigm shift in AR technology.
The XREAL Air 2 Ultra, previously known as Nreal, comes packed with exciting features. Powered by a new spatial computing chip from Qualcomm, it promises to change the game for AR enthusiasts. With six degrees of freedom (6DoF) through advanced 3D sensors, these glasses are designed to give users a whole new way to interact with the virtual world.
During the grand reveal, XREAL emphasized that the Air 2 Ultra is not just an alternative but a bold challenger to existing devices like the Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3. The goal is to make 6DoF glasses not just cutting-edge technology but something that’s easy on the wallet and comfortable to wear for everyone involved in XR development.
Let’s talk about the look and feel of the XREAL Air 2 Ultra. It’s not just about technology; it’s about making AR glasses fashionable and user-friendly. Weighing only 80 grams, these glasses feature a sleek titanium ring frame that appeals to both tech and fashion enthusiasts. The idea is to make them comfortable for everyday use, even for developers who are known for their fashion-forward preferences.
While some expected the XREAL Air 2 Ultra to be a direct competitor to the Vision Pro, it turns out to be more of a spatial monitor than a spatial computer. In simpler terms, it needs to be connected to a computer, console, or phone to work. This, however, results in a smaller, more natural-looking design, setting it apart from bulkier headsets in the market.
So, why should you consider the XREAL Air 2 Ultra over the Vision Pro? Well, first and foremost, the price. At just $699, it’s a fraction of the cost of the Vision Pro. For Mac users looking for a 3D monitor, the Air 2 Ultra becomes an appealing option not only due to its price but also because of its sleek design, weighing only 80 grams.
At CES 2024, the XREAL Air 2 Ultra received the Best of CES 2024 award, and here’s why. It brings directional audio technology into the mix, enhancing the overall AR experience. The glasses offer a 1080p resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and 500 nits brightness. Upgrades include a 52-degree field of view and 42 pixels per degree, surpassing the specifications of the Apple Vision Pro.
What’s truly impressive is the addition of extra cameras on each side, enabling six degrees of freedom and positional tracking. This means you can interact with virtual elements in a more natural way, using your hands. Imagine creating 3D models or exploring AI applications – the possibilities seem endless.
XREAL is not just stopping at the hardware. The company is actively partnering with major players like Qualcomm Technologies, BMW Group, NIO, Quintar, and Forma Vision. These collaborations aim to develop spatial computing interfaces, making AR glasses not just for gaming but also for practical applications like navigation instructions, hazard warnings, holographic meetings, and entertainment content.
CEO Chi Xu is excited about the direction AR is taking, emphasizing the shift from 2D to 3D applications. Although the XREAL Air 2 Ultra is currently tethered, Xu envisions a self-contained wearable computer in the form of glasses within the next five years.
Hands-on experiences at CES showcased the XREAL Air 2 Ultra’s ability to seamlessly integrate virtual screens into real-life scenarios. Whether you’re working on a project or enjoying entertainment, the glasses keep the virtual screens steady as you move around, providing a glimpse into the future of AR technology.
The XREAL Air 2 Ultra’s displays stood out for their sharpness and clarity. Interacting with screens and menus was a breeze, thanks to the responsive pinch gesture – a user-friendly way to navigate through content.
While the XREAL Air 2 Ultra’s demo showcased innovative applications, the success of such advanced AR glasses relies heavily on the development of compatible applications. As of now, there aren’t many AR glasses-ready apps available, hindering widespread adoption.
In the midst of giants like Apple, Samsung, and Google exploring mixed reality, XREAL remains optimistic about the future. The XREAL Air 2 Ultra, with its competitive price and advanced features, positions itself as a strong contender in the evolving landscape of augmented reality.
The XREAL Air 2 Ultra is not just a pair of AR glasses; it’s a statement. Priced affordably at $699, it challenges the norms, making advanced AR experiences accessible to a wider audience. Although tethered for now, its sleek design, lightweight build, and groundbreaking spatial computing capabilities make it a frontrunner in redefining augmented reality experiences. As the industry moves towards embracing mixed reality, XREAL’s vision of making advanced 6DoF glasses accessible to all signals a significant shift in the AR market.