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Cover Nreal Light consumer AR glasses
Nreal Light consumer AR glasses sold out in two days. (Nreal)

This Week in ARExperience

December 9, 2021 by Jon Jaehnig
  • Nreal Light consumer AR glasses began selling online through Verizon and in select Verizon retail locations throughout the United States last week and subsequently sold out within days. While U.S. consumers cannot currently find Nreal through Verizon, they can still place orders through the Nreal website, linked above.
  • VR development studio Gleechi announced the release of a training platform featuring no-code creation tools for immersive training modules. VR is often lauded as a solution to the “skills gap” as it can be used to quickly and efficiently train new entrants to the workforce. However, there is also a “skills gap” in terms of the demand for VR content compared with the number of people that can produce it. Services like Gleechi are helping to bridge both gaps.
  • Cross-platform avatar development tool Ready Player Me by Wolf3D has launched the first episode of the new podcast “Ready for the Metaverse” featuring Ryan Feldman of Immersed. The podcast can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, or the Ready Player Me blog.
  • Snap Inc. held its annual Lens Fest this week. The three-day event once again saw software updates, news on Spectacles, and celebrated the Snapchat Lens Creator community, as well as Snapchat’s partners and those who build cross-platform experiences using camera kit. Major announcements include:

    • Creators gaining access to a sounds library to use in their lenses

    • A Real-World Physics software update for AR artefacts

    • A Real-World Mesh for depth-sensitive lenses

    • An API library for incorporating real-time information into lenses

    • This year’s event also saw the inaugural “Lens Fest Awards,” celebrating nine development studios, lens creators, and experiences. That event took place after the publication of this week’s article went to press, so look for the honorees next week.
Lens Fest 2021 logo
Lens Fest 2021: Celebrating the Snap AR Community. (Snap)
  • In related news, social singing app Smule, which uses Snap’s Camera Kit to allow remote participants to sing songs together with AR backgrounds and filters, has partnered with Agora to launch an enhanced Sing Live tool to allow virtual Christmas caroling on fast, stable connections.
  • MyWebAR has rolled out curved image tracking. This has already been a standard feature on other AR production platforms but MyWebAR is unique in offering a “free forever” platform model for non-commercial use of their no-code platform, making it a great tool for getting started with Web AR.
  • RealWear  introduced a new product line in their Navigator 500 “assisted reality” headset for frontline workers. The hands-free heads-up devices features a lightweight modular body as well as powerful tools for capturing and recording video all navigated with a voice-controlled interface enabled through noise cancelation software for use in high-volume environments.

The overwhelming take away for today is “low or no-code” content production software, with Gleechi, Ready Player Me, Snap, and MyWebAR all representing. It’s doubly worth noting that, with the exception of Gleechi, all of these solutions are available to people in the consumer space. Early in the article, we mentioned the skills gap in XR, and low or no-code solutions like these help to make XR content easier for the average person to enter and – in turn – make it more affordable and efficient in enterprise.

Also of note are the two hardware announcements framing the piece. Nreal is currently only available for 5G phones on Verizon plans, so the demand overwhelming Nreal and Verizon’s expectations should also overwhelm all of us. RealWear, going in the opposite direction in their “assisted reality” headset fills an important, of overlooked area of the XR spectrum.