Xiaomi’s Wireless AR Smart Glasses are a prototype that is not commercially released yet, but the hardware seems more than ready
Mobile World Congress is an exciting trade show for mobile enthusiasts as it is not only a launching ground for commercially finished products but also a venue where some of the world’s top tech brands prototype or have ideas for future products. Let’s show And while Xiaomi just held an actual launch event for its Xiaomi 13 series two days ago, today it had another surprising announcement: augmented reality glasses with more advanced technology than any existing AR glasses on the market. a pair.
Xiaomi gave me an exclusive closed-door demo of the product a few days ago – according to a Xiaomi representative, I’m the only media person who got a chance to touch and try the prototype before the announcement – and I wanted it to be a real product Launch soon.
The official name of the product is Xiaomi’s Wireless AR Smart Glasses Explorer Edition, and it looks like a big pair of Terminator sunglasses, albeit with a silver finish instead of going completely black. The glasses house a pair of Micro-OLED screens—one for each eye—that pump out Full HD visuals at 1,200 nits of brightness. On the front of the glasses are three forward-facing cameras that are used to map the environment immediately in front of the wearer.
Considering its relatively large size and state-of-the-art components inside, the glasses are light in weight at 126 grams. Xiaomi says it managed to keep the weight down by using lightweight materials like carbon fiber, magnesium alloy, and a self-developed silicon-oxygen anode battery that’s smaller than a typical lithium-ion battery.
The glasses are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 chip. There’s no onboard storage, so it needs to be connected to a host device (during our testing, we used the Xiaomi 13) for use. So far, everything I’ve described has already been done by existing commercial products like Real Light or Rokid Air. So what sets Xiaomi’s glasses apart?
What Can the Xiaomi Wireless Ar Smart Glass Do?
As the name suggests: Xiaomi’s Wireless AR Smart Glasses are completely wireless. It connects to a smartphone via the company’s “proprietary low latency communications link” (an engineer told me it’s a combination of WiFi and Bluetooth), and Xiaomi advertises a latency of just 50ms, which is plenty fast. What you can’t figure out is the noticeable lag. I wore the glasses for over 20 minutes, scrolling through TikTok, and Instagram, and watching YouTube videos, and I couldn’t detect lag or any image quality drop-off.
This alone blew me away. I’ve tested several AR glasses, including the aforementioned Enreal Lite, the Rokid Air, the Plus Enreal Air, and the TCL NXTWAR S, and I actually use the Enreal Air every day. They all require cable connections, and the wire can get in the way, especially when I’m using the glasses in bed or in a cramped airplane seat.
But Xiaomi’s Wireless AR Smart Glasses can do a lot more than just play videos. When I reviewed both the actual Air and the TCL NXTWEAR S for XDA, I concluded that although they were advertised as AR glasses, they were ultimately only used as wearable displays, as AR applications didn’t work very well.
Even in its prototype stage, Xiaomi’s AR applications are more advanced than ever. During the demo, the Xiaomi representative showed three AR tests. The first was running an interactive virtual desktop where I could open multiple windows and “map” them to the real-world environment in front of me. Using the connected phone screen as a trackpad, I could control the windows—move them around, or resize them, or I could reach out my arm and tap to physically move the windows. could use hand gestures When I held out my hand with my palms facing out, a laser beam came out of my palm, which I could use as a pointer. I can use the one-finger pinch motion to “grab” a window and move it around.
The second demo was an AR shooting game, in which I could set up a virtual machine gun station on a flat surface (for my demo, I used a table), and I had to shoot these weird-looking animals walking toward me. Had to do it. I could control the target with the phone or my hands. Finally, the third demo jumped me into a virtual Xiaomi home UI, where I could use my hand and finger to flick virtual switches to turn on/off the real-life Xiaomi lamps that appeared on the demo’s screen. was visible during
Obviously, it’s not possible for me to show how the AR visuals look to my eyes in photos, so the best I could do was to capture a portion of what my eyes would see I could put a phone behind the glasses. I can say that Xiaomi’s marketing slides and promo videos are an accurate representation of what I saw.
Xiaomi’s Wireless AR Smart Glasses also feature electrochromic lenses that can darken with the press of a button. The idea is that when you wear glasses for AR content, you want the lenses to be transparent so you can see the real world. But when you’re watching a movie, you might want to play the content on a black screen for greater immersion. Actual or TCL’s existing AR glasses have a physical lens cover that you snap onto the glasses. Xiaomi does not require any physical cover.
A Prototype That Feels Ready for Release
Overall, Xiaomi’s Wireless AR Smart Glasses worked as advertised and the demo ran smoothly without any issues. Everything from the view floating in front of my face to the sensors picking up my hand/arm gestures worked pretty well. Even if AR applications are limited, I’d love to own a pair right now for the ability to watch movies or scroll through Instagram and TikTok on a wearable display that isn’t tethered by cables.
Xiaomi declined to say why it is still a prototype while the technology seems to be working so well. If I had to guess, I’d suspect it could be battery life or cost. During our 30-minute demo session, the glasses ran out of juice and had to charge. There may not be a way to fit a battery large enough without a huge increase in weight or bulk. Another theory could be that Xiaomi wants to wait until these glasses can be manufactured at a lower cost before releasing them. Whatever the case, I look forward to the day these glasses are ready for mass production. I already love the original Air and carry it with me on every trip. These glasses of Xiaomi are like their futuristic surgeons.