Nreal, the creators of the Nreal Light AR glasses, today announced that shipments of its developer kit will be affected by the recent developments in Asia surrounding the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The company, which is split between San Francisco and Hangzhou, China, says in a tweet that production of the Nreal Light developer kit has been halted. Delays are said to affect the most recent batch of backers. There’s no indication of when production will start back up; uncertainty in the region has so far become a unfortunate norm.

Hangzhou, along with many other major cities in China, is in the precarious situation where some factories have been provisionally cleared to return to work as the Spring Festival comes to a close, however stringent city-wide lockdowns still stymie the flow of workers and resources.

Nreal Light launched pre-orders for its $1,200 developer kit late last year. The AR headset, which is driven by a tethered compute unit running a Snapdragon 845 mobile chipset, is touted for its more slim-line appearance and large (for AR headsets) 52 degree field of view.

This WebXR App Helps You Visualize the Global Infection Rate of Coronavirus

The Coronavirus, a novel respiratory virus, began in China with the first reported case on December 31st, 2019. Since then the virus has seen more than 28,000 confirmed cases and 565 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. While the Coronavirus has spread to 24 other countries to date, 99% of cases have been confined to China.

Meanwhile, Nreal is still planning on attending MWC 2020, which has recently been marred with controversy as large companies such as Amazon, Ericsson, LG, and Sony have pulled out citing the obvious public health risk of promoting the largest telecom trade fairs during the epidemic. Event organizers GSMA has added a number of health and safety measures to this year’s MWC, such as a ban on travelers from Hubei province, increased cleansing of public areas, and encouraging among attendees a ‘no-handshake’ policy.

Nreal isn’t the only company in the AR/VR sector to have felt the effects. Facebook has issued a similar statement regarding the availability of Oculus Quest, the standalone VR headset which has been notably in high demand since well before the holiday season.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • asdf

    dont forget nreal has been outed as stealing from magic leap as well as from unreal engine…..

    Billions of dollars from multiple countries and companies just stolen by a chinese employee who is now the ceo of nreal…..

    • sebrk

      Thats China for you. A communist totalitarian dictatorship state sponsoring theft in the open. It’s amazing how the world still just let them get away with all their shit tbh. Guess that is the price you pay for cheap goods.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Oh please, the US isn’t any better..

        • Jerald Doerr

          In the US you can fight it out in courts… China…the place you go to jail for 20 years because you took a banner only to lose your life for a dumb mistake???

          Their leaders can eat my dirty underwear!

        • Zantetsu

          The US is better in some ways, and worse in others.

        • econik

          Are you being sarcastic? I have lived in China for years and you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. China is totally corrupt. Bribery exists on every level including giving your doctor a red envelope to make sure he doesn’t make any “mistakes”. Yes, this is true and it’s VERY common. You western-western haters are doing so much harm when you profess to know better.

          The world needs a competing manufacturing hub and this virus may be the thing to finally helps propel that cause into reality. These virus’ won’t stop happening. The SARS virus has escaped from China labs several times already. The hygiene is also a huge issue and is culturally hard to change. Also, the way food is handled is just crazy. Dirty, open air meat markets are EVERYWHERE.

        • sebrk

          Oh look I found the Poh-bot

    • dk

      xD haaaa yeah except
      unreal engine had a problem just with their name sounding similar ….and it has absolutely nothing in common with ML1 …it’s using optics that have been on the market for at least 10 years that multiple companies have used over the years ….and they just wanted to fuck with them because they have an actual viable consumer product ….and the founder used to work at ML was their pretense and nothing else

  • gothicvillas

    My kickstarter backed Woojer is delayed too due to Corona virus. Things will get tough with China made stuff.

  • Virus exposes how dependent the world is on China. The epicentre of nearly all things and all tech for manufacturing.

    No backup manufacturing plans either.

    Index availability is months off.

    • sebrk

      Sure hope the lights go up. We need to shift away from the slavery market in totalitarian China. They base their economy on slavery, printing new money when it suits them and theft. Oh and eating fucking bats, dogs and other endangered species because of superstition. Shithole.

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  • Death toll from coronavirus hit 1000 today. 565 is several days out of date.

    • sebrk

      It’s probably worse than that. China suppresses information like that. It’s the default way of handling anything that can hurt the communist party. Even the very first doctor (who now is dead) got threats because of his early warnings and others (vloggers) are gone missing. Pretty sure the actual number is much higher. I hope the world can see that we don’t actually need to be as dependent on China as we think. Maybe there is a silver lining in this (or subsequent) virus. For some reason they always seem to pop up in China anyway.

  • That’s sad. All Chinese companies are having big troubles in these days, the business has mostly stopped there. I hope this emergency ends soon