Xiaomi has announced a smart glasses called Xiaomi Smart Glasses. A company spokesman tells The edge that there are no plans to actually put them up for sale, but Xiaomi has provided enough details to make the concept product seem reasonably plausible – at least for a later date.
Xiaomi’s glasses have a relatively conventional form factor, but different from The recently announced Stories glasses from Facebook and Ray Ban, they actually have a display that can be used for AR functions. Xiaomi says it opted for a monochrome MicroLED system because of its “higher pixel density and longer lifespan with a simpler structure” compared to OLED. According to Xiaomi, MicroLED enables “a more compact display and easier screen integration”.
MicroLED is a self-emissive display technology widely viewed as the natural successor to OLED. However, it remains prohibitively expensive and has yet to be used in more than a handful of commercial products.
At 2.4 mm x 2.02 mm, Xiaomi’s display is “about the size of a grain of rice” and has a peak brightness of 2 million nits. The light will of course not be as bright once it reaches your eye – the extreme brightness is such that it is still visible in direct sunlight after going through a fiber optic lens that refracts and directs the light. Xiaomi names use cases such as navigation, live translation and notifications for the display.
The glasses themselves are a standalone Android device that doesn’t require a constant phone connection – Xiaomi suggests that one day they could even replace your phone. On board are an unspecified quad-core arm processor, WLAN and Bluetooth modules, a battery and a five-megapixel camera. According to Xiaomi, the glasses weigh only 51 grams.
As mentioned at the beginning, these glasses will not be available to the public and may not even exist, so you should view Xiaomi’s claims with skepticism. However, after the announcement by Facebook and shortly before Apple’s iPhone event, the concept demonstration is a clear indicator that Xiaomi would like to be viewed as a player in the AR field.