Huawei has opened pre-bookings for its new smart glasses in China ahead of its official reveal on 23 December. The wearable device will reportedly ship with the Chinese brand’s proprietary HarmonyOS software and six different frame options.
According to Huawei Central, you can reserve one anytime between now and the launch day via JD.com. You can choose from the following types of frames: square half-frame, square full-frame, round half-frame, round full-frame and aviator’s full-frame, which is available as both eyeglasses and sunglasses.
Details about the device are still scarce. What’s currently known is that it will allow for lens replacements and will come equipped with a sound system mounted on the side of the frame, on top of the previously mentioned features, similar to the Huawei X Gentle Monster collab.
But if we are to go by with recent developments in the scene, it will probably have some form of assisted reality functionality where basic information can be projected on the lens – not quite augmented reality yet.
Oppo’s recently revealed smart glasses, the Air Glass, for example, can show notifications, calendar events and even directions. Additionally, it has a teleprompting function for, say, when you want to go through your notes as you deliver a speech. There’s also a real-time translation feature, where it converts spoken words to text and translates them automatically.
Xiaomi, in September of this year, similarly unveiled a concept for a pair of smart glasses. Aptly called Xiaomi Smart Glasses, the spectacles feature a monochrome MicroLED system – the supposed successor of OLED technology – that can also project navigation information and notifications, among others. Unlike Oppo’s Air Glass though, Xiaomi says its device can run independently of a smartphone.
Oppo is targeting a Q1 2022 launch for its smart glasses, albeit as a limited release exclusively in China. Xiaomi’s spectacles, on the other hand, is, as of right now, just a concept, with no confirmation yet whether it’ll eventually hit the market. With Huawei having already opened pre-bookings for its soon-to-be-revealed wearable device, we at least know that it exists and that plans are in place to release it.
However, given how these brands aren’t mass marketing smart glasses yet, we can’t help but feel that they’re not far off from when they first started gaining some traction in consumer tech close to a decade ago. While there have been numerous innovations and improvements since that time, they’re still in the early experimental stages and are far from being ubiquitous in our daily lives the same way as our smartphones are. It kind of reminds us a bit about foldable displays a couple of years ago, where they’re nice to have but not practical yet.
What we’ll do say is that we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this new trend, with the likes of Facebook and Microsoft betting big on smart glasses for their respective visions of the metaverse. Who knows, perhaps in the next ten to fifteen years, these devices will eventually be more affordable and support fully-realised augmented reality applications. But for the time being, we’ll probably stick to our smartphones for checking any information we need.