Chinese augmented reality firm Xreal launches next-gen glasses to challenge Meta and Apple

Xreal Air 2 in action. Xreal augmented reality glasses are compatible with gaming consoles and allow users to play games on a large virtual screen


Chinese augmented reality (AR) firm Xreal launched its next-generation glasses on Tuesday as interest continues to grow in the technology favored by many tech giants. Apple and Meta See it as the next big consumer product after the smartphone.

The Xreal Air 2 and Xreal Air 2 Pro are lightweight glasses rather than bulky headphones, as the company is betting on this type of device appealing to a wider range of users looking for an easy-to-wear product.

“The Air 2 was designed mainly to improve the comfort when people use it,” Peng Jin, co-founder of Xreal, told CNBC in an interview on Tuesday.

AR refers to technology where digital experiences are superimposed on the real world. Xreal glasses allow users to have a big screen experience of apps such as streaming services or games. Xreal's AR glasses can connect to smartphones, game consoles and other devices, allowing users to open an app and see what they see on a virtual screen up to 330 inches.

Xreal launches the glasses in the US, UK and some European markets. The Xreal Air 2 starts at $399, while the Pro versions start at $449. The tools will be available to order in November.

The company said it managed to use a smaller display inside the device, resulting in the AR glasses being 10% lighter than the previous generation. Xreal also said it improved the headphone speakers to prevent as much sound leakage.

The first generation of Xreal Air was released last year.

Tech giants are betting on augmented reality

The Xreal Air 2 glasses start at $399 and will be available in the US, UK and select European markets.


Jin said the Xreal's strength lies in its lack of legacy, suggesting that Apple won't make a headset that necessarily connects to competing systems, and that the Meta headsets will likely connect to the company's social networks.

“For us, we have that flexibility. We have the freedom to not work with an existing legacy… so we're cross-platform, we don't mind starting from a very basic experience and letting people learn about us, get us into their everyday lives, so , we can grow,” said Jean.

Ultimately, he added, when big companies get involved in technology, “it's always good for everybody,” by bringing in more capital, talent and business opportunities.

Xreal aims for rapid growth