MWC 2023: Xiaomi tackles augmented reality with a pair of connected glasses

In Barcelona, ​​the big MWC pre-opening announcement was none other than Xiaomi’s new 13 series. But it seems that the company had another announcement in store, since it has just unveiled a brand new product in a press release: its first connected glasses. A pair that focuses on augmented reality and promises to be more than a remote screen.

It’s a market in which we weren’t really expecting Xiaomi, but we have to face the facts, the Chinese manufacturer definitely likes to touch on all areas. In terms of uses of the future, we thought we were only impressed by the CyberOne, a humanoid robot that will be present on the firm’s stand, but the pair of augmented reality glasses changes the situation. Xiaomi therefore comes to beat Apple and others on this new battlefield, with a product that seems quite well thought out.

Xiaomi indicates that its pair of glasses weighs only 126 g – a relatively contained weight – thanks to the use of materials such as carbon fiber and a magnesium-lithium alloy. It consists of two OLED screens whose brightness can reach 1200 nits. The lenses are electrochromic — they can darken to block light. These glasses work wirelessly and must connect to a smartphone compatible with Snapdragon Spaces. Xiaomi takes the opportunity to announce that its 13 and 13 Pro are compatible with the program, and therefore with the glasses. The Chinese company indicates that the latency is only 3 ms thanks to its proprietary protocol. Everything works with the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 platform.

Precise digital control thanks to cameras

For total immersion in its AR environment, Xiaomi has decided to do without the smartphone as a controller – as TCL can do, for example. Instead, she opts for a solution that we usually see on virtual reality headsets. Indeed, it is your fingers that will be used to control the various possible interactions and to control the glasses. Multiple combinations of gestures could, for example, allow you to access or exit an application; you can grab an augmented reality item (like a screen) to move it closer, further away, or just change its size.

It also allows for easier interaction with your surroundings. Taking advantage of its complete ecosystem of products, Xiaomi has obviously thought about interconnectivity and therefore allows remote control of its devices. For the example, the manufacturer indicates that it is possible to extinguish a lamp by looking at it and by mimicking its extinction. It is also possible to “grab” the screen of a Xiaomi television to place it directly in the glasses and thus have it in its augmented reality environment. Uses specific to the company for the moment, but which should open up, since Xiaomi intends to extend its compatibility to the Qualcomm Snapdragon Spaces, OpenXR and Microsoft MRTK frameworks and wishes to work with developers to “accelerate the arrival of augmented reality”.

After such an announcement, we are dying to put the product on our head. Hopefully he will be present on that brand’s booth at MWC. Nothing is less certain, since in its press release, Xiaomi does not indicate any release date, or even price. This suggests that these Wireless AR Smart Glass Discovery Edition are only a concept and that they have no vocation to be marketed as is.

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