Nreal Receives Another $15 Million Investment
Nreal has announced a fresh $15 million in funding. The new financing came from the trade firm IICombined, the parent company behind the eyewear brand Gentle Monster among others. This brings Nreal’s funding to $260 million so far since its founding.
Nreal has been one of the most resilient AR smart glasses manufacturers. Many of its early peers and projects have since collapsed or folded their smart glass projects. Last year, the XR company introduced its second-generation Nreal Air glasses which came with major enhancements.
The new funding comes as the company redoubles its focus in the consumer AR market where it is seeking to increase the appeal of augmented reality glasses.
In March this year, Nreal raised $60 million in a funding round that was led by Alibaba.
The latest round of funding will go into increasing its investments in research and development and accelerating Nreal’s global business expansion into new markets. Nreal is also looking to strengthen its current partnerships with both partners and developers so as to provide users with a wider range of content and experiences.
Nreal aims to proceed with speed on the leading edge of technology and to develop multiple generations of products that will enable it to have a flagship product ready when augmented reality finally takes off.
Nreal pitches its device as a “portable movie theater.” The company wants to be the pacemaker in the lightweight smart glasses market. So far, the company has gone into partnership with over 10 carriers and launched its product in 10 countries. The AR glasses maker says there have been significant advancements in AR technology since the launch of its first glasses, the Nreal Light.
Such advancements have increased the availability of smaller and more compact AR technology to consumers. The company also built its new smart glasses for specific use-cases like the streaming of TV shows and playing of mobile games. Nreal wants to create immersive experiences inside a form factor that are no different from that of ordinary sunglasses.
Nreal Air currently has, probably, the best display on the market for an augmented reality device. The smart glasses can project up to a 201-inch virtual display viewed from a distance of 6 meters. This is useful when you need to watch multimedia content.
Like the Nreal Light, the Nreal Air smart glasses must still be tethered to a smartphone. However, the Nreal Air is about a third lighter than its predecessors. They are also more comfortable to wear compared to any AR glasses currently on the market.
Nreal Air features a micro-OLED display with a high color density of up to 49 pixels per degree (PPD). This brings out the finer details more clearly and improves the realism of the content. These smart glasses also have a refresh rate of up to 90Hz. The features on the smart glasses aren’t a drain on the phone’s battery.
Nreal has been on a roll in the recent past. In the past year alone, it raised $200 million. Its first smartglasses were launched in Europe, South Korea, and Japan.
The older Nreal Light smartglasses were recently launched in the U.S. in partnership with Verizon and are retailing in the carrier’s stores nationwide. They all sold out on the first day of launch.
Nreal’s ultra-thin Nreal Air smart glasses were launched in February this year via both online and offline partnerships with KDDI and NTT DOCOMO, the two main telecom operators in Japan.
Nreal and IICombined’s partnership is aimed at exploring collaboration opportunities at the cutting edge of fashion and tech.
Nreal also has a competitive edge in its pricing. While most AR devices cost thousands of dollars, the Nreal Light glasses retail at an accessible $600. They also have more portable and comfortable form factors which increased their mass market appeal.
Nreal is currently deploying a multi-pronged strategy in its bid to increase the accessibility of augmented reality technologies.
Its partnership with the electric automaker Nio, for instance, has demonstrated the potential of innovative real-world use cases for augmented reality technology. The company has also been releasing a number of immersive AR apps.