Chinese technology company Xiaomi has just unveiled a working prototype of smart glasses with an integrated 5 MP camera, MicroLED imaging technology, and a heavily modified version of the Android operating system.
The wearable device is descriptively named the Smart Glasses, and Xiaomi says that it uses an engineering mindset to create a future viewpoint.
Even though Xiaomi is one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers, the official announcement stresses that the Smart Glasses isn’t a secondary smartphone display but an independent smart wearable.
Powering this wearable is a quad-core Snapdragon processor with enough processing power to perform everything from turn-by-turn navigation to photo translation and more.
From a distance, the Smart Glasses looks just like ordinary glasses, and they weigh more or less the same—only 51 grams. The discrete look has been made possible thanks to MicroLED optical waveguide technology, which refracts light from a single tiny display, directing it safely into the human eye and greatly enlarging the size of the displayed image in the process.
“The refraction process involves bouncing light beams countless times, allowing the human eye to see a complete image, and greatly increasing usability while wearing,” explains Xiaomi. “All this is done inside a single lens, instead of using complicated multiples lens systems, mirrors, or half mirrors as some other products do.”
Because the Smart Glasses are meant to be used outside in harsh direct sunlight, Xiaomi decided to use a monochrome display capable of reaching a peak brightness of 2 million nits (the iPhone 12, for example, has a brightness maximum of just 625 nits).
The choice of a monochrome display instead of a more marketable color display suggests that Xiaomi is at least somewhat serious about making the Smart Glasses available to the general public, but the company hasn’t shared any information as to when that may happen.