Xreal’s new Beam Professional is an Android pill designed to work together with your AR glasses


Xreal has made a reputation for itself with some surprisingly nice-looking augmented reality glasses, which put a show in front of your eyes so you are able to do issues like watch TV or play video games on an enormous display screen projected only for you. However not like, say, Apple’s Vision Pro or Meta’s Quest 3, Xreal has no built-in software program or content material. It’s only a display screen in your glasses. That is good in you could plug in numerous different gadgets, nevertheless it does prohibit the kind of issues these glasses can do.

The brand new Beam Professional is Xreal’s newest try to bridge that hole. It’s a handheld machine with the tough dimensions of a smartphone, however Xreal thinks of it as extra of a companion to your glasses. It runs a custom-made model of Android 14 — Xreal calls it NebulaOS — and may be capable to load most apps onto your face display screen. And on the again, there’s a dual-lens digital camera you should use to take spatial and 3D movies for viewing in your glasses. (Or your Imaginative and prescient Professional; Xreal says the Beam Professional’s footage will work in your Apple headset, too.)

The specs listed here are pure smartphone: the Beam Professional has a 6.5-inch, 2400 x 1800 display screen, runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (although it’s not clear which one), and has both 6GB or 8GB of RAM and both 128GB or 256GB of storage. The most affordable mannequin prices $199, although you most likely gained’t need one except you’re additionally plunking down just a few hundred bucks for a pair of Xreal glasses.

There are a few apparent tells that that is no strange Android cellphone, although. First are the twin 50-megapixel cameras, the likes of which we haven’t seen on smartphones a lot in recent times. The Beam Professional additionally has two USB-C ports, so you’ll be able to cost the machine and join it to your glasses concurrently. The NebulaOS tweaks to Android are all about AR, too; when you’ve got your glasses plugged in, you should use the Beam’s display screen as a touchpad, and the machine can also be designed to have two apps open facet by facet in your discipline of view. Once you first plug within the glasses, it’ll pop up a homescreen of your apps, which you’ll open and management utilizing the Beam Professional as a distant.

Once you join the Beam Professional to your glasses, your Android apps will seem in entrance of your eyes.
Picture: Xreal

The Beam Professional appears like a giant improve on the Beam, which was basically only a distant management in your Xreal glasses. The Beam undoubtedly solved a problem for Xreal house owners, nevertheless it had some points: a bunch of reviewers and customers discovered it was fiddly and unreliable, and Xreal had a tough time explaining to customers why it even existed in the first place. The display screen ought to make the Professional a lot simpler to make use of, and the digital camera makes it greater than only a lesser smartphone alternative. You’ll be able to, in fact, nonetheless plug in your Steam Deck or smartphone and use Xreal’s glasses that manner, however this appears like a extra built-in strategy.

Xreal’s strategy is way much less built-in than what we’re seeing from Apple and Meta, each of that are decided to place a complete laptop in your face. However there’s one thing intelligent about Xreal’s manner: it’s utilizing a very mature machine class to do all of the laborious work — and doing as little in your face as attainable. At the least for now, it appears like a wise technique.

Xreal’s glasses can nonetheless hook up with your cellphone — however now they get their very own machine, too.
Picture: Xreal

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