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In a nutshell: Despite a failed lawsuit by Magic Leap that claimed its founder had stolen trade secrets, Nreal’s Light mixed-reality glasses are shipping in Korea this month. And it's good news for those interested in a Samsung Galaxy Note 20: buyers can save almost $300 by purchasing a bundle that combines both the phone and the headset.
Last year, Magic Leap filed a lawsuit against one of its former engineers, Chi Xu, who left in 2016. It alleged that Xu used confidential information to set up a competing business, Nreal, which showed off its mixed-reality glasses at CES 2019. Magic Leap called them “strikingly similar” to its Magic Leap One device, but a federal judge threw the case out in June.
The glasses, called “U+ Real Glass” in the Korean market, tether to a computing device, which in most cases will be a smartphone, and use spatial tracking and projected images to overlay apps onto the real world. Chrome, Facebook, and Instagram are just some of the hundreds of apps supported at launch.
The kit also comes with a “VR cover” that blocks the view of the outside world, turning the glasses into a VR device, though you are limited to a 52-degree diagonal field of view. And while phones are used as trackpads or motion controllers, Nreal said it would bring hand-tracking to the device at some point.
The Nreal Light glasses are available as a standalone device for 699,000KRW (around $586) at LG Uplus stores from August 21. They’re also available as part of a mobile plan on the LG Uplus network for 349,500 won (about $295) when bought with the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 or the LG Velvet.