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While the tech world is still waiting for Apple Glass, a trend was already emerging at MWC 2023. During the Barcelona fair, connected glasses have established themselves as one of the biggest trends to watch.

Source: Xiaomi

Although the rumors around the Apple Glass have gained strength, the MWC 2023 has finished putting the connected glasses in the center of the news. The impression that emerged from the Barcelona fair was that each manufacturer went there with their own device. We return to the different models that we could carry in hand or see up close.

Xiaomi Wireless AR Glass Discovery Edition

This is the announcement that officially marked the launch of what will continue to be the great trend of MWC 2023. Xiaomi has presented connected glasses that, although they are not intended for sale, demonstrate the future possibilities of this type of device.

We were able to see two members of the Chinese firm wearing them live and the promises are numerous: home automation managed entirely with the fingers thanks to the cameras housed in the device, video game in AR on the coffee table in the living room, Internet browsing in AR… all in a format below 150 grams and with a Micro Oled screen. Let’s face it, it makes you want to.

Still, for the moment, this is all still very theoretical. During the presentation, we got the impression that the protesters were not really wearing the glasses, sometimes faking certain activities. Are we to read here a desire to adapt to the constraints of a presentation in a small room full of journalists, or an admission of the work that remains to be done to make the product viable? Since Xiaomi does not market it and did not let us touch it, the brand probably answers the question itself.

TCL RayNeo X2

We were also able to put the TCL RayNeo X2 glasses in front of our eyes during a private presentation. It is, without a doubt, the most convincing product of this type among those presented at the fair. Once again, we are dealing with a product prototype that TCL would like to market in 2023, but that the brand will offer to developers first.

If these glasses are so convincing, it is because they incorporate two microLED projectors and the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 platform. The former are true color and transparent displays with an advertised brightness of up to 1000 cd/m2. Competitive glasses are based on screens that show only green. Here we had all the colors with a fairly correct definition.

The navigation in the interface is done by the branches, and TCL already imagines the simplest applications such as taking photos, playing music or sending messages. The most impressive thing was undoubtedly the demonstration of a translation application in real time. In front of us, the interlocutor spoke in Chinese, and the glasses could offer English subtitles in real time.

The appearance of the TCL RayNeo X2 is still perfectible // Source: Frandroid

Obviously, we are still dealing with a prototype and the design of the current version still leaves a lot to be desired. They are large glasses with a battery and the smart part at the end of each temple. The price is still completely unknown.

Oppo Air Glass 2

Oppo for its part has opted for a much more minimalist and concrete concept. In fact, we were able to put the Oppo Air Glass 2 on our nose and play around with it a bit.

First observation: instead of having two parts like most glasses, one for the screen and one for the glass, here we had a glass on which the interface was projected. Weight is immediately affected, hence the name Air no doubt: 38g.

Source: Frandroid

So Oppo opted for a very simple interface: a few green pixels dueling to display basic functionalities. We were able to check the weather, see the time, read a text by scrolling on the arm of the glasses, and listen to music. Unfortunately, the most interesting parts have not yet been implemented. We think about the ability to subtitle and translate the words of a live speaker. Undoubtedly one of the reasons why the Air Glass 2 is not yet on the market.

Huawei Vision Glass

In the field of connected glasses, there are those who bet on AR and those who believe they are televisions. From what we’ve seen, the Huawei Vision Glass falls more into the latter category.

Its tinted windows cut completely with the outside and the interface invites you to consult video content or sites. A way to replace a screen, for example, with a much more compact object. A detail chafouinés us during our grip. The screen seemed very small. It is difficult to see an interest in these conditions.

Also, the author of these lines wearing glasses, it was difficult for me to wear these second glasses. And unfortunately, impossible for me to remove them. The little rulers in the top two corners of the glasses that are used to accommodate didn’t help me much. However, a colleague from another medium, who also wears glasses, has managed to accommodate his eyesight, so he can depend on his level of correction.

Tooz Essnz Berlin

Tooz is a company created jointly by Deutsche Telekom and Zeiss. As a reminder, the latter is an expert in optics and it is precisely this know-how that stands out in the Essnz Berlin glasses. The objective of this device is to offer you an augmented reality experience through glasses adapted to your vision and that you will also obtain by prescription from your ophthalmologist. All while ensuring a comfortable fit over the nose and ears thanks to a relatively compact design that tops out at 60 grams.

Source: Frandroid

The sobriety displayed is also found in the augmented reality benefits it offers. We’re getting close here to what Oppo’s Air Glass 2 does. In fact, the Essnz Berlin makes do with a small 480 x 640 pixel microLED display that displays outlined content in green in front of the right eye. What to quickly check an incoming notification, take a GPS route step by step, see the weather, etc.

During our quick test in the small Tooz stand we were able to find some glasses more or less adapted to Omar’s myopia. The ease of use was there and the layout of the information in front of the eye, in a corner, is well thought out. However, green display is not always necessarily retina friendly.

The buttons allow navigation in the interface, but it is also possible to control the device with your voice. Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant appear to be compatible, but during the demo they gave us, it was, strangely, Samsung Bixby in charge. Tooz glasses pair with your smartphone via a companion app and Bluetooth 5.0.

Source: Frandroid

With normal use, it is expected that a person can use these AR glasses all day before needing to charge them. Tooz is clearly hinting that Essnz Berlin may launch, but we don’t have a date or price yet.

The future Samsung glasses?

Finally, let’s remember in passing that this trend of connected glasses is also carried by Samsung, but from afar. The Korean giant had nothing to show on that side at MWC 2023. However, several clues suggest that Samsung would also be working on connected glasses.

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