China’s NetEase announced its $30 AR smartglasses at CES set with three applications, including AR painting application HoloTouch, original mobile AR game YuME, and AR Doll Machine.
According to the project director of NetEase's AR project, the field of view (FOV) of these AR glasses is 76 degrees, which is the widest on the current market. The company says that with the combination of lens, AR is able to display the image of a smartphone screen in front of the viewers. Also, it achieves inside-out tracking capability, through which the viewers can see virtual objects on the desk or on the floor as if they actually appear, which is regarded as an overlap of the real world and virtual world.
The AR glasses are equipped with a handheld display to achieve more interactions, with plans to apply this technology to games, education, training and other areas, with multiplayer mode to come.
NetEase also released the Holotouch application at CES, enabling users to not only paint through AR technology, but also display their creative process to others. The original AR mobile game, YuME, recently won the 2017 Apple Design Award.
NetEase’s AR project director said, "We realised that the currently expensive cost of hardware is hampering the popularity of AR application market. Hololens and other AR glasses on the current market can only be regarded as industry applications”.
And it seems the director knows something the rest of us don’t, saying, “As for Magic Leap, which is claimed to be consumer-oriented hardware, it is sold for an unattainable price of $2,000 USD, obviously not affordable for most consumers."
NetEase’s AR glasses will be on the market in the near future in China, with a lighter and more streamlined version to follow.