AR is an exciting idea, but it’s unclear whether the world has enough computing power to make such a fantastic concept a reality. Not to be deterred, Xiaomi has introduced its Wireless AR Glass Discovery Edition, a compact AR headset that uses the same Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 processor as the Quest Pro . The company claims that these oversized sunglasses offer an elegant way to combine the digital and real worlds without requiring physical tethering to a smartphone.
At 126 grams (4.4 ounces), Xiaomi made the hardware from a magnesium-titanium alloy and carbon fiber parts to lighten the load. It also features a custom-made silicon-oxygen anode battery, which Xiaomi says will reduce the physical strain on the user. ( This user would beg to differ, saying from experience that anything pushing more than 100g on the nose is still too much to take for long periods of time.)
As for the displays, the headset features a pair of microOLED displays connected to a pair of arbitrarily shaped light-guiding prisms with a pixel density so dense that your eyes won’t notice the squares. The company also claims that you’ll experience less brightness loss than with other close-up displays, and can deliver a peak brightness of 1,200 nits. And for full immersion, the front of the lens is electrochromic, automatically dimming when you need to focus on the virtual world.
Advanced hand tracking is said to provide a new form of interaction with the user, whereby our hands can be used to manipulate the digital world. In the concept video, the user looks at a smart light and turns it off by flicking a virtual switch hovering over the device itself. Users will also be able to click and click on the Internet (or video) in a “Minority Report” style and potentially use them to boost productivity.
The emergence of these glasses is also part of Qualcomm’s own plans to use the Snapdragon Spaces platform to improve XR devices. Xiaomi’s hardware, combined with a compatible device such as the new Xiaomi 13 , promises low enough latency that you won’t notice the lack of a wire. And the company says it will “work closely with developers to accelerate the emergence of AR,” so important in a still nascent field.
Unfortunately, there is no word on price or availability, since this is still a conceptual device. Consequently, we would not recommend opening a separate savings account to set aside money to buy one, unless you are very, very, very patient.