hinese AR company, Xreal, has unveiled its latest-generation AR glasses, the Xreal Air 2 and Xreal Air 2 Pro, offering lightweight and user-friendly options for consumers. These glasses, as opposed to bulkier headsets, are designed with improved comfort in mind. Users can enjoy large-screen experiences for streaming and gaming, connecting the glasses to smartphones, game consoles, and other devices. Xreal aims to make AR accessible to a broader audience. The Xreal Air 2 starts at $399, while the Pro version starts at $449, with orders available from November.
Xreal has made these glasses 10% lighter than the previous generation by using smaller displays. They have also improved the headset speakers to minimise sound leakage. The company is launching these glasses in the U.S., U.K., and select European markets.
The AR and VR headset market is still in its early stages, with only 8.5 million headsets expected to ship this year. However, the market is projected to rebound in 2024, with 46.8% year-on-year growth expected, driven by new hardware introductions.
Tech giants like Apple and Meta are heavily investing in AR and VR, viewing these technologies as the next major computing platforms. Xreal suggests that Apple is targeting its existing product users with the Vision Pro, aiming to extend Apple services from the iPhone and Mac into mixed reality. In contrast, Meta is striving to bring its social network into virtual reality, which presents significant challenges due to technological issues and commercialization struggles.
Xreal prides itself on its flexibility and lack of legacy systems, enabling cross-platform functionality. The company currently holds a 2% market share, lagging behind giants like Meta, Sony, and ByteDance. Despite this, Xreal aims to achieve annual sales of 1 million units within the next two to three years. The company has attracted significant investors, including Alibaba and Nio, and is actively exploring options for further funding and expansion.