The powers of the Nreal Light continue to increase incrementally with each passing week.
Now, the latest feature added to the device is possibly the most requested feature for anyone who has tried the Nreal Light: hand tracking.
The China-based augmented reality startup has teamed up with California-based Clay AIR to add complex and precise hand tracking to the Nreal Light’s set of input options.
“By offering hand tracking with Clay AIR, Nreal offers its developers and users of the Nreal Light Consumer Kit an added degree of flexibility in how they might want to interact with their MR environment, whether it’s hand tracking, their 5G smartphone as a controller, a third-party 6DoF controller, or even in the near future eye tracking in partnership with 7invensun,” said Chi Xu, the CEO and co-founder of Nreal.
According to Clay AIR, the company’s solution works with AR and VR, requires no additional hardware, and has 96% accuracy.
Although we haven’t had a chance to test the feature to measure that claim, demonstration videos showing off the new feature are impressive. One shows 3D avatars in AR representing social media services like Facebook and YouTube, which can be initialized by merely gesturing toward the 3D icons.
Yet another interaction shows the Nreal Light being used to manipulate a complex 3D machinery model with a fist, an open hand, and pinch gestures.
“Consumer-friendly hardware, powered by seamless hand tracking and gesture recognition technology, is a necessary catalyst to make AR accessible and practical on a global scale,” said Thomas Amilien, the CEO of Clay AIR. “This partnership marks an inflection point with the first integration of hand tracking via embedded monochrome cameras already used for spatial tracking in AR.”
And while this is a significant development for Nreal, there’s the still question of when the company’s device will emerge from the developer phase and into a full-fledged mainstream device. Last month, the company revealed that due to manufacturing issues related to “the current situation in Asia” (read: the coronavirus slowing down factory work) the debut of the commercial version of the Nreal Light would be delayed.
Nevertheless, the addition of hand tracking to the Nreal Light just made it a far more compelling device for casual users and enterprise users alike.