Tiny OLEDs and Dimming Lenses Have been Added to Xiaomi’s AR Glasses

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Do you envision yourself exploring the world with AR glasses in the future? While the idea remains uncertain, manufacturers continue to innovate in this space. One recent development is Xiaomi’s AR Glass Discovery Edition, recently revealed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. These cutting-edge AR glasses feature lenses that can be instantly dimmed, adding to the aura of mystery around this sunglasses-like eyewear with integrated cameras.

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Last year, Qualcomm introduced a new chipset design aimed at enabling smaller smart glasses to seamlessly interact with nearby smartphones. This technology is now available for manufacturers through a partnership program that ensures compatibility between the glasses and phone products, requiring approval for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Spaces software to work effectively.

Unlike some competitors, Xiaomi’s latest eyewear is powered by the robust XR2 chip, similar to the one featured in the anticipated RayNeo X2 glasses by TCL showcased at CES in Las Vegas. Noteworthy counterparts like the Meta Quest 2 and various standalone VR headsets also leverage this chip. Since Google has not yet developed a dedicated Android environment for AR glasses, compatibility is ensured through Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Spaces software.

Xiaomi’s glasses feature tiny OLED screens, resembling futuristic visors, offering “retina-level” quality at 58 pixels per degree, which measures pixel density. One standout feature is the inclusion of lenses that can adjust opacity, darkening for enhanced augmented reality experiences, reminiscent of the Magic Leap 2 concept. External cameras facilitate hand and gesture tracking for intuitive controls, and they can also be synced with a phone to function as a trackpad-like touchscreen.

An upcoming XR collaboration involving Google, Samsung, and Qualcomm hints at future advancements in glasses and phones leveraging Google’s Android ecosystem. Apple’s rumored mixed-reality device may similarly influence the iPhone down the line, making Xiaomi an early player in this space.

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Qualcomm continues to drive innovation in phones and glasses, with progress occurring incrementally on a carrier and device basis. The evolution of smartwatches in their early days comes to mind before significant players like Google and Apple entered the market. As for Xiaomi’s AR glasses, questions remain about software compatibility and user comfort. While the glasses support prescription lens inserts, the fit and visual experience can vary, underscoring the need for further refinement.

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