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CES 2024 | XREAL Air 2 Ultra AR glasses launch with potentially enhanced immersion and tracking with micro OLED displays

The Air 2 Ultra. (Source: XREAL)
The Air 2 Ultra. (Source: XREAL)
XREAL asserts that it is ready for Apple's Vision Pro with the Air 2 Ultra, which upgrade to tracking in six degree of freedom (6DoF) and a field of view (FOV) that might beat that of its Cupertino-born rival. The glasses also boast high-refresh-rate displays from Sony in a titanium-enhanced form-factor that the OEM touts as both style- and development-friendly.

XREAL has just made good on all its teasers by introducing its latest product as the inaugural Ultra variant of the Air 2 series at CES 2024. The new augmented reality (AR) headset is backed to have certain rivals right in its sights from their respective debuts, not the least because it boasts an FOV of 52° at 42 pixels per degree (PPD), projected to exceed that of the Apple Vision Pro.

The Air 2 Ultra also introduces the OEM's new "smallest on the market" 3D environment sensors for 6DoF head-tracking (although that still drops to 3DoF for the XREAL Beam) and also feature hand-tracking for potentially convincing "spatial computing" use-cases.

On that note, XREAL suggests that the Air 2 Ultra will be exceptionally developer-friendly as well as user-friendly with the new SDK for the 3D sensors. The glasses are also rated to run the spatial videos that can now be created using the iPhone 15 Pro series, albeit via third-party apps (as can the Air 2 or 2 Pro, for that matter).

The Air 2 Ultra can also be used with Samsung Galaxy S22- and S23-series units - so long as they have Snapdragon processors. On that note, XREAL also strongly intimates that the new product's main advantage lies in the fact that they are actual glasses, and may thus get no more than the attention one might want on the street.

To that end, they also counter Apple with titanium frames that house 120Hz 1080p micro OLED displays with a max brightness of 500 nits for potentially improved outdoor use, so that a user might not even miss all that much from their smartphone screen. Then again, no mobile device can simulate an up-to-154-inch screen from ~13 feet away on the go.

The glasses can also be equipped with detachable prescription lenses (not the ones a user might have for an existing Air 2-series set, unfortunately) and are also outfitted with things like a "zero-pressure nose pad" for comfort - although they do unavoidably retain a little of that poorly-fitting sunglasses look of earlier smart eyewear even in XREAL's official model shots.

Then again, the Air 2 Ultra glasses even boast photochromic technology to limit the user's exposure to sun glare (and, perhaps, looking cooler) outside. The latest XREAL AR glasses can be pre-ordered from now for $699.

The Air 2 Ultra on a human. (Source: XREAL)
The Air 2 Ultra on a human. (Source: XREAL)


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 01 > XREAL Air 2 Ultra AR glasses launch with potentially enhanced immersion and tracking with micro OLED displays
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2024-01- 9 (Update: 2024-01- 9)