Shenzhen-based tech brand Oppo announced its very first smart glass glasses on Tuesday, and they’ll hit mainland China in the first quarter of 2022. Named Oppo Air Glass, it’s basically a monocle-type device. which can display relevant information. in front of the wearer’s eye. Air Glass can be worn as a monocle or attached to the frame of conventional eyeglasses.
Unlike more ambitious smart glasses from Google, Microsoft or Nreal, the Oppo Air Glass is not an “augmented reality” headset. It can’t display real world information because it doesn’t have a camera to capture the real life scene. It also cannot play video in front of the wearer’s eyes. But in return, the Air Glass is significantly lighter and more discreet. It weighs only 30g, and when an Oppo executive wore the Air Glass strapped to their “normal” glasses during a video call meeting, I didn’t even notice the laptop until. let him mention it. And while the retail price has not been announced at the time of this writing, it is almost certain that the Air Glass will be much more affordable than the $ 3,500 Microsoft charged for its HoloLens.
Oppo representatives say the company is still working on AR technology, but practical and affordable AR glasses are still a long way into the future.
The Air Glass consists of three main parts, all designed and built by Oppo in-house: there’s a coffee bean-sized micro-projector that pushes the visuals towards a sapphire glass lens and a frame that contains all other items such as the Snapdragon Chip, speakers, microphones and touchscreen.
As mentioned, the Air Glass doesn’t try to do really ambitious things like a graphic overlay on the real world. Instead, it will show you the basic information that one would typically get from their phone or smartwatch, such as navigation instructions and notifications.
For example, if you are riding a bike or driving, being able to get navigation instructions on the eyepiece will prevent you from having to turn your head to look at your phone or watch.
Another use case mentioned by Oppo during the announcement was real-time translation: in this scenario, both parties would have to wear the Air Glass, and the language spoken by a wearer would be translated into another language that would appear. on the other wearer’s lens. Oppo said at the launch that the Air Glass only supports translation between English and Mandarin Chinese, but support for Japanese and Korean will be available soon.
The Air Glass can run for three hours on a single charge and can be controlled via voice commands and head gestures, as well as swiping or tapping the touch bar. Air Glass will only work with Oppo smartphones and smartwatches at this time.
Oppo says the Air Glass SDK (Software Development Kit) will be made available to third-party developers so that they can support Oppo Glass if they want. Inside its native China, the Oppo Air Glass should have no problem finding app support.
Air Glass is just one of many products Oppo unveils at its annual Inno Day tech show. The company has also teased a foldable phone and a retractable camera system that are expected to be unveiled soon.