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Google Android apps run through Xreal AR glasses vs. Apple's Vision Pro

Google Android apps run through Xreal AR glasses vs. Apple's Vision Pro


Augmented reality glasses maker Xreal has launched Beam Pro, a connected mobile device that allows users to capture spatial videos and 3D images.


BEIJING (Reuters) – Games and movies on apps on the Google Play Store can now be viewed in 3D through a new Android mobile device from augmented-reality glasses maker Xreal, the Alibaba-backed startup said on Tuesday.

The company's latest product, the Beam Pro, is a smartphone-like device that can be used in combination with AR glasses as a virtual mouse, linking the headset to apps from the Google Play Store, including gaming, movie streaming, and social media.

Augmented reality overlays digital images onto the real world, giving the person wearing the AR glasses the impression of being in a 3D virtual space.

Xreal's latest product announcement shows that Alphabet is still gaining a foothold in the headset space following the withdrawal of Google Glass, even as Apple unveiled its widely anticipated VR product this year.

Apple's Vision Pro uses what the company calls spatial computing technology to let users see digitally captured versions of apps and the real world.

Xreal sells a range of AR glasses that can display the screen of a connected laptop, smartphone or gaming console, some of which weigh as little as 72 grams (2.5 ounces). The Beam Pro, which connects to the glasses via a cord, is due to start shipping in the US by August, with a starting price of $199.

“Our hope is that this will eventually become a flagship product that people really love,” Xreal founder and CEO Chi Xu said in an interview with CNBC.

“This is actually [is] “This will become the new category standard,” he said, adding that some smartphone makers may “actually want to move in this direction.”

Xu said one of the challenges in widespread adoption of AR glasses is the lack of content and the inability to incorporate user-created images.

This year, that's starting to change: The Beam Pro now has two cameras that can take photos and videos to be viewed in 3D in the AR glasses, similar to the Apple Vision Pro's advertised ability to take “3D spatial photos and videos.”

Xreal says the Beam Pro uses Nvidia CloudXR technology for image rendering and Qualcomm's Snapdragon spatial computing platform, and that the company is also working with Amazon Web Services to explore ways to improve the product's processing power and capabilities.

According to IDC Research, Xreal will hold the largest market share in global AR headsets in 2023.

“Companies like XREAL and Rokid have demonstrated that there is a user base that can use AR glasses to enjoy games and multimedia content without spending thousands of dollars, which will undoubtedly attract attention from other companies looking to do the same thing,” Ramon T. Lamas, research director on IDC's augmented reality and virtual reality team, said in the April report.

Xreal AR glasses cost around $200 to $400 depending on the model and promotion.

That means the price for a set of Xreal AR glasses and the Beam Pro will be well under $1,000. Apple sells the Vision Pro for $3,500.

Different glasses for different users

According to Xu, Xreal has sold “close to 400,000 units” of AR glasses since it was founded in 2017. The average weekly usage time is about four hours, with the top 15% of users spending more than 10 hours a week.

The company announced in January that it had shipped 350,000 units of its AR glasses. Around the same time, Xreal announced it had received a $60 million funding injection, valuing the company at over $1 billion.

this is [is going to] Take cloud gaming to the next level.

Qi Shu

Founder and CEO of Xreal

Xu said he expects high-tech glasses to evolve in three directions simultaneously, from heavier, more expensive virtual reality headsets to lightweight frames that can be worn all the time.

“Unfortunately, we're not going to see an iPhone-like moment where everyone converges,” he said, noting that headset experiences are diverse. “I think different people have different preferences and different combinations, but we're not there yet.”

It's unclear how many Vision Pros Apple has sold since its US launch earlier this year. The headset will be available outside the US on June 28, starting with mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

The Beam Pro was launched in China in late May. Xu said that as of June 12, orders had reached just under 5,000, adding that he expected orders to reach around 10,000 by the end of the promotional period in mid-June.

The Potential of Cloud Gaming

Xu expects that by late August or early September, the Xreal Beam Pro will be able to use 5G cellular networks in addition to Wi-Fi.

Xu said that the support of 5G will bring new opportunities to the development of cloud games, and that Xreal is already in negotiations with major cloud gaming companies around the world.

“this is [is going to] It takes cloud gaming to the next level. To be honest, if you're just going to play cloud games on your phone, the size of the screen doesn't really matter, but [when] “If you put AR glasses on there, you can use a giant screen,” Xu said.

Cloud gaming utilizes remote servers and your internet connection to provide a smooth gaming experience with only small file downloads.

As for non-gaming applications, Xreal's strategy is to build on people's existing technological habits as they use smartphones and slowly transform them into 3D space, Xu said.

“We're not trying to dramatically change how people use technology, right?” he says. “We're just taking small steps and trying to do them faster.”




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