Nreal Air is largely a virtual screen viewer. While it does have native apps designed for AR, it becomes a lot more versatile when displaying content from a tethered device like a mobile phone or game console. Nebula, the app that allows these features, will also now be available for Windows computers.
Changes Coming to Nreal’s Nebula Ecosystem
The job of Nebula is to “project 2D content into an interactive 3D space.” To get much use out of the company’s AR glasses like Nreal Air, you need to have Nebula installed on the device. The glasses launched with support for the Android operating system and subsequent updates brought compatibility to Mac and a number of game consoles.
A recent release from the company confirms that Nebula is coming to Windows. The Windows version of Nebula also comes with enhanced tracking, an optimized aspect ratio, and a curved virtual screen. The 3DoF tracking was specifically touted for helping gamers playing simulation-type games.
A Boon for Gaming (and Maybe Productivity)
As of this writing, the Windows version of the Nebula app is not yet available and no rollout date was included in the release shared with ARPost. Still, the announcement brings some excitement both in productivity and gaming applications.
PC Gaming on a Virtual Screen
The main drive of the update, according to the release, was to catch PC gamers. A recent user survey found that console gaming is the second highest use case just behind streaming media.
“We are thrilled to see the growing popularity of Nreal Air among the gaming community, and we are committed to providing gamers with the best possible experience,” co-founder Peng Jin said. “As the gaming industry continues to evolve, we believe that Nebula for Windows is a game-changer for the desktop gaming market.”
I don’t always game, but when I do I use a Windows PC. Many a time I’ve resorted to connecting my laptop to a TV via an HDMI cable to get a bigger screen. Having used Nreal Air for watching videos online, I can definitely see the draw that the giant virtual screen can have for gaming.
Multiple Virtual Screens for Productivity
The third leading use case is productivity. Even though this was downplayed in the release, it’s something that I’m excited to try out.
In my review of the Nreal Air I said that reading fine text in the glasses was still a bit of a chore. However, with the changes to screen aspect and other updates to the Windows version of Nebula, I’d be willing to revisit the glasses for productivity. Being able to glance back and forth between multiple screens instead of opening and closing tabs on my laptop would be great.
Any Day Now
The only thing not to like about the announcement is the lack of a release date. I’m still a little skeptical of how conducive Nreal Air can be to productivity tasks like writing but one way or another this opens up a significant market for these already popular AR glasses.