The international profile of augmented reality startup Nreal continues to quietly rise thanks to gradual updates and various strategic branding opportunities.
Among the latest and most prominent is the appearance of none other than Hollywood legend Kevin Bacon using the Nreal Light in the middle of a busy UK train station.
The appearance wasn’t mere happenstance, it turns out that Bacon was part of a new commercial filmed for UK wireless giant EE designed to show off the benefits of 5G technology.
Filmed in Birmingham’s New Street train station, the commercial also features UK music group Bastille, whose leader singer performs in the center of the space as various augmented reality figures move in sync with the music performance.
The video spot began airing in the UK a couple of weeks ago during targeted television program airings in the region.
Although it’s unclear whether or not the AR represented was truly delivered in real-time (in conjunction with the music performance) to the Nreal smartglasses, the commercial is the first time we’ve seen a large group of Nreal Light users appear to use the device in a large public space.
In addition to the Nreal Light wearers, who appear to be using the Android smartphone-tethered version of the device, we also see a number of users viewing the AR experience directly through their smartphone screens.
For most of us who weren’t at the UK train station during the massive AR production, EE has posted an immersive 3D version of the performance on YouTube for all to experience. (If you’re not based in the UK, there may be YouTube restrictions on your ability to view the full video).
Since this was a controlled demonstration of the device in action, it’s difficult to confirm if such a use case is truly feasible for the Nreal Light. Nevertheless, this commercial at least shows us one of the potential mainstream practical applications of the startup’s device via 5G technology.
And if you’re wondering how Nreal is doing in terms of AR insiders, Nreal CEO Chi Xu recently posted a photo of himself posing with HoloLens inventor Alex Kipman.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the HoloLens chief has tried the Nreal Light or in any way endorses the China-based startup, but for Xu it’s a great look as the company continues to work to build its industry credibility versus the ongoing legal claims of Magic Leap.