Xiaomi Smart Glasses concept shows how AR smartglasses will rise again

MicroLED screen tech drives thinner and lighter smart specs
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Xiaomi is getting into the smartglasses game – and it's shown off a concept of some supercharged AR specs.

The Xiaomi Smart Glasses are less like Facebook's Ray-Ban Stories and more Snap Spectacles AR – or even a mature version of Google Glass.

The 'smart wearable device concept,' as Xiaomi refers to it, can display notifications, offer directions, snap photos and translate text in real-time.

Xiaomi says the glasses would use microLED display technology to deliver a brighter and more compact screen. The smaller tech would make space for other components, and also keep the overall weight of the device down.

The specs will pack a display chip that's roughly the same size as a grain of rice, which make it easier to fit to the frame of the connected eyewear. That chip powers a monochrome display to offer strong levels of brightness and uses optical waveguide technology to beam a visual into one of the glasses lenses.

For notification support, only the most important will be pushed to the glasses, including alerts from smart home alarms, or a message from VIP contacts.

When a phone call comes in, you'll be able to see the incoming call details, and use a dual beam-forming microphone and speaker to handle the call.

When it comes to getting around town, Xiaomi believes its specs will be a great fit for drivers and cyclists, offering road and maps in your eyeline, while still being able to focus safely on the road ahead and environment around you.

There's a 5-megapixel camera up front to take picture, and it can also be used to deliver real-time translation to help you read signs or food menus abroad.

It even suggests the onboard microphone and its own proprietary translation technology would be capable of transcribing audio into text with translations in real-time too.

The primary way of controlling the Smart Glasses will be via Xiaomi's voice based XiaoAi AI Assistant.

Just to reiterate, Xiaomi says this is a concept right now. So there's no release date or even pricing attached to these innovative specs.

Despite not being a real device now, it's rooted in existing technology, some of which is already found in smart eyewear already.

The timing of this announcement seems curious, as it comes just days after Facebook officially entered the smartglasses game.

Maybe this is Xiaomi's way of telling the world it's thinking about the connected eyewear market, and big tech brands know how aggressive the big Chinese smartphone OEMs can be around features and pricing. It might take a few years for AR to kick off, but the missing pieces are starting to fall into place.

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Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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