BusinessChinese augmented reality glasses maker Nreal looks to go...

Chinese augmented reality glasses maker Nreal looks to go public within 5 years, CEO says


SHANGHAI — Nreal, a Chinese firm making glasses for so-called augmented reality experiences, is trying to go public within 5 years, its CEO informed CNBC.

“We’re considering that is actually a serious tech market and actually trying ahead to what is going on to occur within the subsequent 10 to 15 years. Very thrilling – I believe its extra like ’06, ’07 of the smartphone enterprise,” Chi Xu, CEO of Nreal mentioned.

“We see loads of good alternatives and, positively, we’re considering the market dimension goes to be huge. And we’ve got this chance and we would like to take this to the ultimate finish.”

He mentioned an preliminary public providing may are available “lower than 5 years.”

The firm’s flagship product is a pair of light-weight glasses referred to as Nreal Light, which has been launched in a handful of markets together with South Korea and Japan. Nreal says its glasses permit customers to expertise “combined reality” the place digital photographs are superimposed over the actual world.

The Nreal Light connects to a smartphone. One of the speedy makes use of frees individuals from being tied to their small smartphone screens.

“Whatever you are displaying within the cellphone display screen in entrance of you, you set that in entrance of your face, into a large display screen, and that may be 3D, that may be ultra-high definition,” Xu mentioned.

An attendee tries a pair of Nreal mixed-reality glasses on the MWC Shanghai exhibition in Shanghai, China, on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Nreal’s ambitions pit it towards expertise giants that see a brilliant future in augmented reality. Apple CEO Tim Cook has referred to as AR the “next big thing” and the iPhone big is reportedly engaged on a headset. Facebook, Microsoft, Google and different expertise firms are all investing in AR.

But present headsets in the marketplace are costly and sometimes cumbersome. Nreal is hoping its transportable nature will attraction to customers. The worth varies by market relying on how it’s distributed. For instance, in Japan the headset prices round $700. But in South Korea, the machine might be bought by way of a telecom operator’s plan which subsidizes the headset to round $300.

Business mannequin

Nreal has a platform for builders to create apps for the headset’s working system referred to as Nebula.

“It’s very related to what Apple has been doing for smartphone,” Xu mentioned. “We provide a platform the place individuals use that for various sorts of experiences and builders — they will deploy, they will develop completely different content material onto the sector.”

Apple not solely makes cash from gross sales of its iPhones and different {hardware} nevertheless it additionally will get income from commissions off its App Store.

Nreal has some notable backers. Kuaishou, the short-video platform in China and iQiyi, a video streaming service, are among the many firm’s buyers. Xu mentioned Nreal could be working with each Kuaishou and iQiyi.

“As we talked about, not solely are we going to present the {hardware}. We need to bundle completely different companies with the glasses. So take video for instance, whether or not it is a lengthy video or brief video. We’re considering glasses are a a lot better terminal to expertise the video in,” the CEO mentioned.

“So that is why we’ll be working with these giants, actually engaged on the brand new interface.”

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