Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."
Xiaomi today announced its entry into the smart glasses (not AR glasses) world with the most marketing post ever. Before we dive into the technical detail of the wearable, I want everyone to know the company describes this as an “engineering mindset to create a future viewpoint.” Yep.
The Xiaomi Smart Glasses have a 0.13-inch MircoLED display on one of the lenses. The company says it uses “optical waveguide technology” — which refracts light at 180 degrees — to display content, such as notifications and navigation assistance, on the screen. The glasses have an in-built 2.4mm x 2.02mm display chip in the frame. That’s pretty tiny.
The Chinese tech giant said that the display uses a monochrome mode in sunlight with 2 million nits of brightness for better visibility. It said that the optical waveguide tech allowed it to reduce the size and weight (51 grams) of the frame, and make it look like a regular pair.
The glasses can pair with your phone to show you details about incoming calls and notifications. However, it can also independently show you information related to navigation and real-time text translation.
The Xiaomi smart glasses sport a single 5-megapixel camera to take photos, videos, and help you with translating text on signboards. In contrast, Facebook and Ray-Ban’s glasses have dual 5-megapixel cameras.
The company said you’ll have to use its XiaoAi AI Assistant as a primary method of interaction. You’ll also find touch controls on the frame, but Xiaomi hasn’t specified exactly what these are for yet.
All of this sounds like Xiaomi is trying to emulate the vision of Google Glass, instead of going the Snap Spectacles/Facebook x Ray-Ban way. It sounds great, but there’s no launch date or price yet — just an “engineering mindset.”
While the product sounds technically cool, there’s no way anyone could experience it. For now, it feels like Xiaomi is ticking off the “we launched this before Apple” box. It would’ve been nice to have explorer or developer edition out, so we could at least have some people use the wearable in real-life conditions.
You can read more about the Xiaomi Smart Glasses here.
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