Mobile operator EE has announced plans to bring augmented reality (AR) glasses to the UK that will enable wearers to stream movies over 5G, on the go, on a personal virtual screen.
The network has partnered with Chinese AR firm Nreal to exclusively launch its Nreal Air glasses in the UK, which can be connected to a smartphone to stream video content and gaming.
Augmented reality is when virtual objects or content are overlaid on to the real world. This is becoming an increasingly popular technology through gadgets such as smart glasses, but also through smartphone cameras and games such as Pokemon Go.
The Government has predicted a 78% increase in spending on augmented and virtual reality between 2019 and 2024, while EE said it had found more than a third of people (35%) were interested in a way of making big-screen experiences more mobile.
The Nreal Air use an OLED display built into the glasses which can be used to cast video that appears on an “Imax-sized” 201-inch virtual screen in front of the wearer.
The glasses can also be used to mirror a connected smartphone screen or explore augmented reality apps.
The Air will go on sale through EE later in the spring, the network confirmed, with full pricing and availability still to be announced.
“We’re working with the best content providers and the most innovative technology companies in the world to create entirely new experiences for our customers,” EE’s director of devices and partnerships, Alistair Wilson, said.
“Nreal are at the forefront of AR, and we’re delighted to be the exclusive UK partner for the launch of their new Nreal Air AR glasses.
“When combined with the power of 5G, it really does open up new possibilities for seamless streaming and access to new types of content on the move – these are really exciting times for mobile.”
Nreal co-founder Peng Jin said the company was “delighted” to come to the UK with EE.
“At Nreal, we’re passionate about bringing AR into consumers’ everyday lives, which will start a revolutionary transformation just as the internet once did,” he said.
“AR will transcend the current mobile experience, especially when it comes to watching videos, exercising, and playing PC and cloud video games.
“As we continue to enrich the AR ecosystem with each update and upgrade, consumers will enjoy more mind-blowing digital innovations and experiences blended into everyday life.”