Apple’s Vision Pro Glasses Could be Facing Stiff Competition from Xreal’s New AR Glasses

A brand-new Air eyewear model, the $699 Air 2 Ultra, has been unveiled by augmented reality startup Xreal. Eventually designed to rival Apple’s Vision Pro headsets and Meta’s Quest 3, developers may preorder the Air 2 Ultra glasses starting on January 7, 2024, with shipments beginning in March. 

Xreal, which was originally known as Nreal, introduced the $399 Air 2 model late last year. It was more feature-rich, providing full positional tracking (six degrees of freedom, or 6DOF) in Xreal’s signature sunglasses-style form factor. 

This makes them ideal for running immersive augmented reality apps, which is precisely what Xreal expects developers to accomplish with them, in addition to watching TV and playing flat-screen games on a projected screen.

What are the Xreal Air 2 Ultra Glasses?

Similar to its previous Light mixed reality device, which also included 6DOF tracking, Xreal markets the Air 2 Ultra as a full-fledged “spatial computing” device. The Air 2 Ultra displays a floating image in front of users’ eyes, just like the other Air models.

However, it includes two 3D cameras—one on each side of the glasses—that are able to map the world around the wearer and provide unique capabilities like hand tracking. That means instead of just showing a standard game, application, or video feed like the Air 2, developers may create programs that combine real and virtual space.

With a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, a 500 nit brightness, a 1080p screen for each eye, and a 52-degree field of view, the Air 2 Ultra outperforms the 46-degree Air 2. However, at 80 grams as opposed to 72 grams for the basic Air 2, the Ultra glasses are slightly heavier. 

They are also compatible with a variety of devices, such as Windows and macOS PCs, Samsung Android phones, and the iPhone 15. They are also similar to the Air 2. They will work with the Nebula AR environment from Xreal on Windows, macOS, and Android.

Who Can Buy these Headsets?

For now, the Air 2 Ultra is primarily targeted at developers, but anyone who is interested can purchase it through Xreal’s website, with shipping available to the US, UK, China, Japan, Korea, France, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. (Currently, customers in the US, Europe, and Asia can purchase the Air 2.) It was introduced soon after Xreal declared that 350,000 pairs of AR glasses had been supplied by the company to date and that more nations would be receiving Air 2 in 2024.


The earlier Light glasses had rather basic mixed reality options, thus making it logical to remove them to reduce weight and cost. However, Xreal can now more directly compete with Apple and Meta, its two most well-known US rivals, thanks to the addition of 6DOF tracking again.

Apple has stated that developers will be able to create spatially immersive experiences in addition to projected flat displays with its $3,499 Vision Pro, which is expected to go on sale in February.

I still think it would be very hard for Xreal to beat Apple’s brand loyalty, but it would be good for consumers to have a cheaper and possibly better alternative available.  

Source: The Verge

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Oladipo Lawson

Oladipo is an economics graduate with multifaceted interests. He's a seasoned tech writer and gamer and a passionate Arsenal F.C. fan. Beyond these, Dipo is a culinary adventurer, trend-setting stylist, data science hobbyist, and an energised traveller, embodying intellectual versatility and mastery of many fields.

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