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Spatial and Nreal partner to make AR meetings a reality

Augmented reality is seen as a boon for the workplace of the future because it would allow co-workers to collaborate remotely using digital avatars and 3D virtual objects that can be viewed and manipulated in real-time during a meeting. 

That vision is behind the announcement Thursday by Spatial and Nreal, who are teaming up to offer AR collaboration software and hardware.  

Nreal unveiled its Nreal Light smartglasses at CES last month; the headset won plaudits for their light weight, usability and moderate prcing. The smart glasses are slated to go on sale later this for $499.

Under the partnership, Spatial’s software will run on Nreal Light, which relies on a smartphone for compute power, offering an affordable way to connect workers in virtual meetings and opening the potential for 5G connectivity as more compatible smartphones arrive on the market. 

“I think this partnership is definitely a big deal because it gives Spatial access to probably one of the hottest AR companies out there and it gives Nreal access to more use cases for their headset,” said Anshel Sag, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

It’s another boost for Spatial, which has previously partnered with Microsoft to adapt its device-agnostic software for Microsoft’s mixed reality HoloLens; those headsets are more powerful, but also considerably more expensive, than Nreal Light. Spatial also runs on Facebook’s Oculus Quest and Qualcomm’s XR2. 

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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