Xiaomi Teases Smart Glasses Concept with MicroLED Display & 5MP Camera

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Chinese tech giant Xiaomi unveiled its first pair of smart glasses today, sensibly called Xiaomi Smart Glasses. They aren’t a product you can buy for now, as the company calls the concept device “an engineer’s look into an advanced future.” With the world’s largest smartphone manufacture expressing interest though, it may mean we’ll be hearing a lot more about consumer smart glasses in the years to come.

Hot on the heels of Facebook & Ray-Ban’s Stories camera glasses, Xiaomi released a video showing off its own concept smart eyewear which not only includes a 5MP camera and speakers, but also a microLED display that serves up information such as notifications, turn-by-turn directions, and real-time text and photo translations.

Based around a quad-core ARM processor running Android, Xiaomi Smart Glasses are said to contain a microLED on silicon chip measuring 2.4mm × 2.02mm, something the company says is roughly the size of a grain of rice, with individual pixels sized at 4μm.

Image courtesy Xiaomi

For a concept that may or may not be built, Xiaomi doesn’t boast specs like a full RGB display, rather showing one in green monochrome that’s supposed to optimize for brightness—2 million nits, Xiaomi says—serving info to the user’s right eye via waveguide optics.

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Xiaomi Smart Glasses house a single 5MP camera for taking photos and doing machine learning tasks like translating text between languages. Like Ray-Ban Stories, an adjacent indicator light is included so others know when its in-use. The whole package is said to weigh in at only 51g, which is about the weight of two alkaline AA batteries.

Image courtesy Xiaomi

The company is positioning it as a standalone device that won’t act as a “second screen” for your smartphone. That’s a bit of a stretch for now though since it only has a few functions, such as displaying basic notifications, incoming calls, turn-by-turn navigation, taking photos, and serving up what it claims is “real-time text and photo translations.”

Image courtesy Xiaomi

Optical wearables such as smart glasses and AR headsets (learn about the difference here) are still in such an early state that input is far from solved. Xiaomi says its primary input will be handled by XiaoAi AI voice assistant, which can do things like audio-to-text transcription. It’s also said to contain a touchpad, which is ostensibly integrated into one of the glasses’ arms.

It’s uncertain if Xiaomi Smart Glasses are simply a “what if” at this point, or if it’s truly looking to productize the fledgling wearable in the near future. Xiaomi generally seems at home making smaller design risks to better differentiate itself from Samsung and Apple, with things like retracting selfie cameras and edge-to-edge displays making headlines. That said, if Xiaomi is gearing up to enter a market, you can bet they’ll bring their patent one-upmanship to the table in any class of smart device they produce.

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  • Massimo Depero

    “In a distant future phones will be a thing of the past”: sends picture to his phone… https://media4.giphy.com/media/lkdH8FmImcGoylv3t3/giphy.gif

    • kontis

      A big marketing mistake to talk about futuristic concept and then show a primitive product that cannot do it because it’s still not capable of being 1% as good as a phone, let alone exceeding it…

      It’s a big problem of AR. Sci-fi visions of far future, but executions limited by current technology leading to horrible disappointments. Overselling to the maximum. This cannot end well.

      • Chris B

        not to mention things like recording a video of one’s self, or “selfies” and the current culture is obsessed with themselves in that respect. Maybe one day it will be about sharing experiences from your point of view instead? who knows

  • kontis

    The POV demo they show is like something from more than a decade ago.
    Retrofuturistic. No 6DOF tracking and HUD slapped to the face is a very outdated concept.

    • silvaring

      Except this is a concept that exists in prototype form, not something just born out of a 3D design program. Or am I wrong?

      • Blaexe

        I’m not sure it exists as an prototype, I see no clear evidence. If something is called “concept” then it’s usually just that.

    • Well, facebook has just released glasses that can only make photos… the present is that :D

  • AR is still not offering anything I want or care about but this at least looks better than what Facebook announced.

  • Holdup

    You know we are far away from AR glasses, when a glasses with little green text is showed as a future concept.

    • Behram Patel

      lol that too in a commercial video that’s shot indoors and high on post production effects :P.
      But I think this is the way forward. Small baby steps that provide value to everyone. No more billion dollar Unicorns that have no market traction after years.

      Cheers,
      b

  • Wave guides have been out for awhile, looks like they have the micro-display complete, so shouldn’t they be thinking about a demo product? I’m certain they’d like others to make the mass market stuff, but usually a company launches one Proof-of-Concept product to get consumer interest. It would show a massive lack of confidence in their own product if they didn’t.

  • Its real problem is that it doesn’t exist… it looks like a concept they have announced because Facebook launched its glasses and they were afraid Apple could announce its ones. Let’s see if they make it real…

    • Behram Patel

      “Let’s see if they make it real” or N-real ;) .

    • dk

      the display is real apparently …and working on rgb I guess …like other companies

  • VRFriend

    It is what every consumer expects from AR. Forget about TV on wall.

  • Ratm

    Beach accessories…

    • dk

      and after that make zoom lenses illegal :P

  • oomph2

    Another IP theft?
    Leave china now or become extinct