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Monday, September 20, 2021

After Facebook Ray-Ban Stories, Xiaomi’s Smart Glasses are officially here

Xiaomi Smart Glasses weigh 51 grams in total and while they look like regular glasses they allow users to take photos, navigate, make calls, see notifications, etc, all right in front of their eyes.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |
September 14, 2021 2:19:41 pm
Xiaomi Smart Glasses, Xiaomi Smart Glasses specifications, Xiaomi Smart Glasses price in IndiaXiaomi Smart Glasses are seen in this photo. (Image via Xiaomi)

Xiaomi has officially announced its Smart Glasses, which can allow users to take a call, see messages, notifications, navigate, even take photos, all in front of their eyes. Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun announced the ‘Xiaomi Smart Glasses’ as they are called on Twitter and the company has revealed more details in an official blog about the new product.

Xiaomi’s announcement comes days after Facebook announced its own pair of smartglasses in partnership with Ray-Ban, called Ray-Ban Stories.

Xiaomi Smart Glasses: Product features, specifications

Xiaomi Smart Glasses weigh 51 grams and while they look like regular glasses, these are relying on what the company calls “MicroLED optical waveguide imaging technology” to put the display in front of the user’s eyes. The glasses have a quad-core ARM processor, battery, touchpad, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth modules, Android operating system among other things.

They also 5MP camera on the front to take photos and translate the text inside photos. There is an indicator light next to the camera, which will illuminate when the camera is in use to indicate that photos are being taken. Facebook’s Ray-Ban Stories have a similar white LED to indicate that a user is recording with these. But it should be noted that these are not using an Augmented Reality (AR) capabilities.

Xiaomi is relying on MicroLEDs displays fitted inside the frame to display the content. Just like OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes), MicroLED pixels are individually lit and thus allow for brighter displays and rich blacks and have a higher pixel density and longer lifespan while having a simpler structure. This also allows for a more compact display, which is of course needed on smart glasses. But MicroLEDs are also more expensive, and it will be interesting to see how Xiaomi prices these.

They have a display chip inside them which measures 2.4mm x 2.02mm, and the display is “roughly the size of a grain of rice,” when viewed with a microscope, according to the company.

The company says that in order “to allow sufficient light to pass through complicated optical structures before reaching the eye even in harsh direct sunlight,” they “opted for an ultra-efficient monochrome display solution, which is capable of reaching a peak brightness of 2 million nits.”

It adds that thanks to the optical waveguide technology which refracts lights at 180-degree, the MicroLED display can accurately transmit light beams to the human eye.  “All this is done inside a single lens, instead of using complicated multiples lens systems, mirrors, or half mirrors as some other products do. Optical waveguide technology significantly reduces device size and weight, and therefore allows smart glasses to approach the form factor of traditional glasses,” claims the company.

Xiaomi Smart Glasses have a total of 497 components including miniature sensors and communication modules, and can be more than just a second screen for the smartphone, according to the company.  “It can also independently complete functions such as navigation, taking photos, teleprompter, and real-time text and photo translations,” claims the company but adds that the glasses are designed to minimise interruptions at inconvenient times, and display “important information timely when critical.”

The Smart Glasses come with the company’s own XiaoAi AI Assistant as the primary interaction method for users to interact with the device. The glasses won’t obviously display all notifications from your phone in front of the eyes. Instead, they will push the most important messages, such as smart home alarms, urgent information from office apps, and messages from important contacts, etc, to avoid disturbing users.

The glasses also come with a “built-in dual beamforming microphone and speaker,” to allow phone calls. The glasses can also present roads and maps in front of users in real-time.

Xiaomi Smart Glasses: Price, launch

Xiaomi has not revealed the price of these, nor the launch date. It is not clear if and when these products will come to global markets, including India.

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