Xiaomi Unveils Smart Glasses With Augmented Reality Lenses
Xiaomi has revealed details of its new smart glasses, which are designed to all but replace a smartphone rather than act as an extension for one. The glasses include visual notifications and augmented reality displays in the lenses, setting them on a different track from the purely audio smart glasses like the Ray-Ban Stories newly introduced by Facebook and Ray-Ban.
Xiaomi Smart Glasses
Xiaomi’s creation is only referred to as Xiaomi Smart Glasses and is priced at about $300. The new smart glasses connect to a smartphone and can show messages and other notifications in the lenses. There’s a touchpad for controls, but Xiaomi’s XiaoAI voice assistant is built into the device to handle voice commands. The voice assistant will take up tasks including making calls, taking photos with the camera set into the glasses, and helping guide wearers with audio navigation tied to augmented reality images. The AI can also pull from the smartphone app’s functions to do real-time translations of any text in view. Although XiaoAI runs the voice assistance, the glasses use Android as an operating system.
“We need [sic] to build an interaction logic which ‘does not disturb ordinary use, but displays key information in a timely manner.’ After many in-depth discussions, several key scenarios, including “key notification,” “phone call,” “navigation,” and “photo translation,” were finally confirmed, with XiaoAi AI Assistant as the primary interaction method,” Xiaomi explained in a blog post. “In this way, Xiaomi Smart Glasses can ‘display the most important information at the moment it is needed.’ With “Notifications” as an example, it is obviously inappropriate to display all push notifications from your smartphone in front of your eyes. Therefore, Xiaomi Smart Glasses selects and pushes the most important messages, such as smart home alarms, urgent information from office apps, and messages from important contacts, etc., to avoid excessively disturbing users.”
Smart Glasses Unfold
Smart glasses have been making a steady comeback years after Google Glass first debuted to horrendous reviews. To avoid the same fate, developers are trying to overcome the deficiencies as Xiaomi is and as Google is clearly going to try after acquiring North, the makers of Focals by North smart glasses, last year. North’s portfolio included many patents acquired from Intel in 2018 for the canceled Vaunt smart glasses, which the company integrated into its own product. The other option is pursuing audio-only smart glasses. That’s the tack taken by Bose Frames, Huawei’s Eyewear II, Vue Lite, and the Echo Frames, not to mention the new Ray-Ban Stories built with Facebook.