One company at the forefront of augmented reality (AR) glasses is China-based Nreal, having released the Nreal Light followed by the Nreal Air. Outside of its traditional market in Asia, Nreal’s devices have only started to see global availability in the last year and in doing so the company is increasing content efforts. It’s doing so in a couple of ways, one with Steam compatibility and the other via its first hackathon event.
Unlike AR smartglasses that have features like 6DoF tracking, Nreal’s AR glasses allow users to connect their smartphones to watch movies or play videogames on giant virtual screens. Hence why the company has pushed towards native AR cloud gaming experiences by releasing “Steam on Nreal”. So yes, that does mean you can now stream Steam games from your PC onto a huge 130-inch HD virtual display.
Nreal does note that “Steam on Nreal” is a beta release that requires a bit of setup effort without going into specifics. The software isn’t yet optimized for all Steam games but gamers can enjoy titles like DiRT Rally and the Halo series. As an additional benefit, Nreal Light and Air users can already utilise Xbox Cloud Gaming via a browser inside Nebula, Nreal’s 3D system.
“We are excited to be the first to bring Steam into AR,” said Peng Jin, co-founder of Nreal in a statement. “The beta release is meant to give people a glimpse into what is possible. After all, AAA games should be played on a 200″ HD screen and they should be played free of location restrictions.”
As for the AR Jam, this will be Nreal’s first augmented reality hackathon, an online international contest with more than $100,000 USD in cash prizes to be won by creators. Kicking off on 27th June 2022, the AR Jam is looking for developers to compete in at-home fitness, art; games, video (highlighting Nebula’s multi-screen functionality) and Port (converting existing apps into AR) categories. There will also be three bonus categories should participants wish to enter, Multiplayer/Social/Networks; NFT Galleries, and Students.
“We’ve always been focused on creating consumer-ready AR experiences with groundbreaking tech, to redefine the way we interact with information and content in our everyday lives. With the AR Jam and content fund, Nreal is demonstrating its commitment to supporting pioneering developers and their AR passion projects,” Jin added.
Category winners will receive $10k, whilst those in second and third places will receive small cash prizes. Honourable mentions will get their very own Nreal Light Dev kit. The AR Jam will run until 27th July 2022.
For continued updates on Nreal and the AR market, keep reading gmw3.