SHANGHAI — Nreal, a Chinese language firm making glasses for so-called augmented actuality experiences, is seeking to go public inside 5 years, its CEO informed CNBC.

“We’re considering that is actually a serious tech market and actually wanting ahead to what is going on to occur within the subsequent 10 to fifteen years. Very thrilling – I believe its extra like ’06, ’07 of the smartphone enterprise,” Chi Xu, CEO of Nreal mentioned.

“We see quite a lot of good alternatives and, undoubtedly, we’re considering the market dimension goes to be huge. And we’ve this chance and we wish to take this to the ultimate finish.”

He mentioned an preliminary public providing might are available “lower than 5 years.”

The corporate’s flagship product is a pair of light-weight glasses known as Nreal Mild, which has been launched in a handful of markets together with South Korea and Japan. Nreal says its glasses enable customers to expertise “combined actuality” the place digital photos are superimposed over the true world.

The Nreal Mild connects to a smartphone. One of many quick makes use of frees folks from being tied to their small smartphone screens.

“No matter you are displaying within the cellphone display in entrance of you, you place that in entrance of your face, into a large display, and that may be 3D, that may be ultra-high definition,” Xu mentioned.

An attendee tries a pair of Nreal mixed-reality glasses on the MWC Shanghai exhibition in Shanghai, China, on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures

Nreal’s ambitions pit it in opposition to know-how giants that see a vibrant future in augmented actuality. Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner has known as AR the “next big thing” and the iPhone big is reportedly engaged on a headset. Facebook, Microsoft, Google and different know-how corporations are all investing in AR.

However present headsets in the marketplace are costly and infrequently cumbersome. Nreal is hoping its transportable nature will attraction to customers. The value varies by market relying on how it’s distributed. For instance, in Japan the headset prices round $700. However in South Korea, the machine might be bought by a telecom operator’s plan which subsidizes the headset to round $300.

Enterprise mannequin

Nreal has a platform for builders to create apps for the headset’s working system known as Nebula.

“It is similar to what Apple has been doing for smartphone,” Xu mentioned. “We provide a platform the place folks use that for various sorts of experiences and builders — they will deploy, they will develop completely different content material onto the sphere.”

Apple not solely makes cash from gross sales of its iPhones and different {hardware} however it additionally will get income from commissions off its App Retailer.

Nreal has some notable backers. Kuaishou, the short-video platform in China and iQiyi, a video streaming service, are among the many firm’s traders. Xu mentioned Nreal could be working with each Kuaishou and iQiyi.

“As we talked about, not solely are we going to offer the {hardware}. We wish to bundle completely different companies with the glasses. So take video for instance, whether or not it is a lengthy video or brief video. We’re considering glasses are a a lot better terminal to expertise the video in,” the CEO mentioned.

“In order that’s why we’ll be working with these giants, actually engaged on the brand new interface.”