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Nreal’s Air are the first smart glasses you’ll want to buy

Smart glasses come in all shapes and sizes, from Ray-Ban Stories with camera to audio glasses like the Soundcore Frames, but none offer that sci-fi mixed reality experience of futuristic Hollywood blockbusters – until now, from anyway.

Although not quite on the level of Tony Stark’s glasses, the Nreal Air glasses put a 130-inch transparent screen in front of your eyes, allowing you to access sites, watch movies and play games. games via a pair of glasses that weighs only 79 g.

The Nreal Air will probably be the first pair of smart glasses you’ll want to buy – and they’re coming to the UK via EE very soon.

Comfortable to wear

The first thing you’ll notice about the Nreal Air is how understated it looks. The design is reminiscent of high-end sunglasses, with a combination of black plastic and a flash of silver aluminum that doesn’t draw attention to itself – something you can’t say about futuristic eyewear. HTC Vive Flow.

It’s not as simple as Ray-Ban Stories, but in all honesty, Meta’s glasses don’t offer an integrated display, and the lack of outward-facing cameras gives it an understated look.

Above all, this slim design and lightweight 79g construction means that the Nreal Air goggles are actually comfortable to wear for long periods of time, without the pain of front-heavy helmets or tight clamping like with some alternatives. They sit on your face like a normal pair of sunglasses would, and while that might not seem like much, it’s a huge achievement for the Nreal team.

In fact, the only real telltale signs that these aren’t ordinary glasses are the cable that connects the back of the glasses to your smartphone and the screens built into the lenses.

Powered by your smartphone

The reason Nreal’s smart glasses are so light and comfortable to wear is that most of the intelligence and power comes from a connected smartphone and not from the headset itself.

Compatible with a suite of USB-C connected Android smartphones, your smartphone doubles as a controller for use with the headset. Some may consider it inconvenient, but it saves you from carrying a separate controller to use the glasses. The only disappointment is that without a USB-C port, iPhone owners are left behind.

Rather than being a one-size-fits-all headset with all the bells and whistles of mixed reality headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens 2, the Nreal Air focuses on entertainment.

Thanks to the virtual 130-inch large screen offered by the smart glasses, you can watch movies via apps such as Netflix and Display+ via your smartphone, browse websites, watch live sports and even play games based on the cloud through apps such as Xbox Game Pass.

Essentially, whatever you have on your phone, you have on the headset.

It’s light enough to use on the go, powered by EE’s 5G network, allowing you to put on the headphones and watch football or your favorite streamer on the go.

Our first glimpse of a mixed reality future

Where the Nreal Air sets itself apart from the likes of the Vive Flow is in the display department. Rather than offering a blacked-out screen like most VR headsets, the Nreal Air’s screens are transparent, allowing you to follow what’s going on in the real world.

It provides a cool mixed reality effect, with virtual windows overlaid on physical space – although, without outward-facing cameras, it can’t actually map space and make AR elements interact with the real world .

Still, it’s been a really exciting experience that left me saying ‘wow’ when I first donned the glasses at EE’s UK launch event in London earlier this week.

It has two modes of operation – MR Space and Air Casting. The MR Space is impressive, with a sleek AR interface that lets you open multiple windows – whether sites like Twitter or web video players like YouTube – side by side. You can easily move, resize, and even distance between you and the screen, adding extra depth to the mixed reality experience.

Air Casting is, essentially what it says on the tin, mirroring your smartphone onto a 130-inch virtual screen. You can browse apps like Instagram and Facebook at your leisure, but it shines best when using apps like Netflix or BT Sport.

It’s also where you can play your favorite mobile and cloud-based games and, I suspect, where many users will spend most of their time.

And, if you want a more immersive viewing experience when watching content, just snap on the dark glasses cover to black out the background.

They arrive in the UK via EE

If the idea is exciting, you’ll be happy to know that they’re about to get a whole lot easier to buy, with the Nreal Air smart glasses officially slated for release on 20 May 2022 in the UK via EE and its ever-expanding 5G network. .

The Nreal Air glasses will cost £399.99, but existing EE customers can access them through EE’s Add to Plan service to split the cost interest-free. It will cost £10 upfront and an additional £35 per month for 11 months, and those interested can register their interest via the EE website now.

Those in the US can head to Verizon, where you can already pick up the smart glasses for $599.99.

Are you excited about the Air glasses from Nreal? Or do you think augmented reality is a fad? Let us know on Twitter.