As a frequent collaborator with Qualcomm, it would be kind of weird if Nreal didn't have something new to unveil at this week's Snapdragon Summit.
Luckily, we can put that feeling of unease behind us, as the augmented reality smartglasses maker has given attendees at Qualcomm's conference in Hawaii a peek at how the Nreal Light can go to work for enterprises.
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On Thursday, Nreal demonstrated a prototype remote field service app called AR FieldAdvisor that the company built via a partnership with Qualcomm and T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom. The app enables Nreal Light users to annotate objects within their field of view and stream what they see to remote experts, who can also add virtual notes or diagrams to the scene and share data with the user in real-time.
The solution is meant to leverage 5G connectivity via Deutsche Telekom to connect remote experts with field service technicians and the Snapdragon 835 platform for smartphone-tethered AR wearables to run the AR experience.
"We are thrilled to collaborate with best-in-class partners to bring the AR FieldAdvisor from an idea to an immersive XR experience that leverages cutting edge spatial computing," said Alex Jinsung Choi, senior vice president strategy and technology innovation at Deutsche Telekom. "Going forward, we will focus on end-to-end 5G and edge computing integration with MobiledgeX to scale the solution for the enterprise market.
While the app is a commonplace solution for enterprise AR, it's new ground for the Nreal Light, as Nreal has primarily marketed the device as consumer-grade AR smartglasses. For instance, popular music artist Steve Aoki was recently shown on social media (see below) wearing the Nreal Light -- a dream celebrity endorsement for Nreal. However, the reality is that enterprise adoption of AR headsets and smartglasses far outpaces consumer demand at present.
Considering that the developer version of the Nreal Light (which includes a tethered computer pack with the smartglasses and hand-held controller) is available for pre-order at a fraction of the cost of the HoloLens 2 or the Magic Leap One, Nreal's lower-tier but nevertheless impressive system has an opportunity to move some units with enterprise customers. At 88 grams, the Nreal Light also lives up to its name as a lightweight wearable, which also lends itself to fieldwork. Nreal also released a concept image of a modified Nreal Light for industrial settings.
"We are excited to empower the industrial market adoption of 5G-powered Mixed Reality with Nreal Light." said Chi Xu, CEO of Nreal, "By introducing truly affordable and accessible MR glasses like Nreal Light to the enterprise sector, Nreal is paving the way for a new generation of computing that will boost productivity and safety in the field and factory."