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.
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.