Image source: Xiaomi

Xiaomi demos a futuristic AR Smart Glasses concept

Xiaomi has released a video showcasing its AR smart glasses concept. It is a type of product the company hopes will become a reality in the not-too-distant future. The glasses would display notifications, offer directions, allow for photo taking, provide real-time translation and more.

Smartphones may be a staple of our everyday life right now, but a few years down the line and they may become a relic of the past. Instead, we’ll be using smart glasses equipped with AR technology that overlays virtual reality on top of a real-world environment.

Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets

Apart from a few crowdfunded projects, there is very little at the moment that serves this purpose. Sure, we have products such as the Snapchat Spectacles and more recently Facebook Ray-Ban Stories. But these are much simpler in terms of what they can do. And of course there’s the failed Google Glasses project that has gone through a number of product iterations before being scrapped.


Xiaomi Smart Glasses

Now we have Xiaomi’s take on the whole thing which is not an actual product. At the moment it is just a concept. Having said that, that doesn’t mean that it might not become something you can purchase soon. Although if you are looking for a release date – one doesn’t exist.

The specs look very much like the traditional thing which is ideally what you want. The only clue these are clever glasses is the module on one side.

This houses a display chip, along with 0.13 inch microLED display –  about the same size as a grain of rice, a 5-megapixel camera, a dual beam-forming microphone and a speaker. All of this is technology that is available today. The idea is to create something lightweight that has space for many components.

Xiaomi demos a futuristic AR Smart Glasses concept
Image source: Xiaomi

The smart glasses could be quite useful in real life. For example, they would be able to display notifications, alert to incoming calls and smart home alarms. One would imagine this ideally working independent of the phone.

All of this would be shown in your line of vision on the monochrome display. Therefore, a user would definitely want to have some means of choosing which notifications to allow through. For phone calls, the microphone and speaker would kick in allowing you to conduct a conversation on the go.

The display tech uses optical waveguide technology that beams a picture into one of the glasses lenses. We’ve actually seen a similar type of technology in FORM Swim Goggles and FINIS Smart Goggle. Having tested both products we can attest to the simplicity and usefulness of AR. Their see-through augmented reality displays show a wealth of information in real time while you are swimming. Much more convenient than stopping to look at a smartwatch on your wrist.

Xiaomi demos a futuristic AR Smart Glasses concept
Image source: Xiaomi

Xiaomi Smart Glasses do not offer any fitness tracking tech but they do offer other things in addition to notifications. The idea is to integrate most smartphone functions into something that you wear.

For example, the glasses would allow you to take pics and perhaps videos. The microphone and AI would offer real-time translation transcribing audio into text. This could even work in combination with the camera, translating menus while you are sitting in a foreign restaurant on your vacation.

The glasses could even help you get around town by showing road and maps in your eyeline. This would be particularly useful for drivers and cyclists as they could keep their eyes on the road and still have navigation information. The main way of controlling all of this will be via Xiaomi’s voice based XiaoAi AI Assistant and by tapping on the specs.

The connected eye-wear market is in its infancy but make no mistake. It will soon become mainstream. And smart glasses will in time transition to smart contact lenses. As one of the biggest global tech-giants, Xiaomi wants to be there right from the beginning.

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