Amidst the legal challenges posed by Magic Leap and Epic Games, startup Nreal is not retreating. Instead, the company is digging its heels and pushing ahead with the plan to roll out its Nreal Light smartglasses.
On Wednesday, the Beijing-based smartglasses released the beta version of NRSDK, the software developer kit for the upcoming Nreal Light smartglasses. Interested parties can now register as developers and then download the SDK from the Nreal website.
The SDK is ahead of the planned release of the Nreal Light Developer Kit in September, a $ 1,199 package containing Nreal Light smartglasses and a connected computer package. (Developers can sign up early to purchase the kit through the Nreal Developer Web site.)
"Nreal's highly anticipated Beta SDK is finally giving developers a head start in developing new applications that developers use to create a mixed Reality environment can port to their existing apps in the market or to develop completely new MR applications for Nreal Light, "said Chi Xu, CEO and founder of Nreal, in a statement. "Even today, without the Nreal Light Developer Kit, developers can start creating and testing apps in our test environment."
The SDK allows developers to create spatial computer applications that leverage the Neal Light's SLAM and computer vision capabilities Utilizing its depth sensor array, optimizing graphics rendering for the smartphone-based CPU, and offering the ability to add multiple interactions, such as three-degree Nreals controllers or a connected smartphone.
Nreal's SDK takes another page from Magic Leap's game book (more on that later) and offers an observer view that activates Nreal like Magic Leaps Device Stream Users can share their view on a tablet.
In addition to creating new augmented reality apps, developers can customize their existing Android apps to Nreal's augmented-real flavor via the NRSDK. Developers can also integrate third-party SDKs into NRSDK and access sensor data, similar to HoloLens Research Mode)
The third step of the Nreal Light launch plan is the Consumer Edition of the Nreal Light, a configuration for 499 US Dollar containing only the Smartglasses for customers to connect to a compatible Android smartphone with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset.
But will Nreal Light actually see the light of day? While the Epic Games complaint involves trademark claims for possible confusion between the name of the Unreal Engine and the name of Nreal, Magic Leap's lawsuit poses a direct threat to Nreal's core product.
Magic Leap claims that Xu, a Former Magic Leap software engineer stole trade secrets while working in the company. The Florida-based startup also accused Xu of not only using his unexplored information to advance the development of Nreal Light, but also copying Magic Leap's marketing and brand strategy to the script in Nreal's logo.
] Despite the features mentioned in Nreal's SDK, these unresolved legal issues may be enough to discourage potential augmented reality developers and discourage some from ejecting the tires of a product whose future is currently uncertain in the US market at best ,