Xreal's new augmented reality glasses target the Apple Vision Pro

Augmented reality company Xreal has unveiled a new entry in its Air eyewear lineup: the $699 Air 2 Ultra. The Air 2 Ultra glasses, which developers can pre-order today to ship starting in March, are intended to compete with the Meta's Quest 3 and Apple's Vision Pro headsets. It's more complete than the $399 Air 2 model that Xreal — formerly Nreal — launched late last year, offering full positional tracking (six degrees of freedom, or 6DOF) in a typical Xreal sunglass-style form factor. This makes it ready not only for watching TV or playing flat-screen games on the display, but also for running immersive augmented reality applications, which is exactly what Xreal hopes developers will do with it.

Xreal is pitching the Air 2 Ultra as an all-in-one “spatial computing” device similar to its previous Light Mixed Reality device, which also features 6DOF tracking. Like the rest of the Air lineup, the Air 2 Ultra displays a floating image in front of users' eyes. But it adds dual 3D cameras, one on each side of the glasses, that can map the wearer's environment and enable special features like hand tracking. This allows developers to create apps that blend physical and digital space rather than just displaying a traditional game, app, or video feed like the Air 2.

The Air 2 Ultra offers a 52-degree field of view compared to the Air 2's 46 degrees; Both products feature 500 nits of brightness, a 1080p display per eye, and a 120Hz refresh rate. The Ultra glasses are a little heavier, weighing 80 grams compared to 72 grams for the standard Air 2 glasses. Like the Air 2, it can be connected to a range of computers, including macOS and Windows PCs and Samsung Android phones. and iPhone 15. On Android, macOS, and Windows, it will support Xreal's Nebula AR environment.

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The Air 2 Ultra is primarily aimed at developers at the moment, but will be sold through Xreal's website to anyone interested, shipping in the US, UK, China, Japan, Korea, France, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, and Italy. Holland. (The Air 2 is currently available to consumers in the US, Europe, and Asia.) It was revealed shortly after Xreal announced that it has shipped 350,000 pairs of AR glasses so far and will expand Air 2 availability to more countries in 2024.

The mixed reality options of older light glasses were fairly primitive, and it made sense to strip them down to save some weight and money. But the re-addition of 6DOF tracking allows Xreal to compete directly with its most famous competitors in the US: Apple and Meta. Apple's $3,499 Vision Pro is rumored to launch in February, and Apple has promised that developers will be able to create spatially immersive experiences alongside the expected flat displays. Meta's Quest 3, a $499 game that debuted last October, combines full virtual reality with mixed reality applications like digital board games. Both headsets use mixed reality technology, which overlays digital objects onto a video feed, rather than the live view offered by Xreal – although Meta is working on display-based augmented reality glasses similar to the Air 2 Ultra, and Apple is likely to do the same. .

revision: The Air 2 Ultra was originally described by Xreal as a developer exclusive; Shortly after it was published, Xreal told us it would be available to consumers through its site as well. We've updated the story to reflect this.

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