TCL has debuted a pair of augmented reality (AR) smart glasses that have made me reconsider this specific wearables space I previously labelled a ‘gimmick’.
The TCL RayNeo X2 AR smart glasses boast binocular full-colour Micro-LED optical waveguide displays and the glasses themselves are lightweight, albeit a little too big for my head, and boast a tonne of interactive features.
The company reckons the RayNeo X2 glasses are a great example of making AR glasses look like conventional eyeglasses without compromising on tech specs, but I’d argue this isn’t the case. They’re clearly not standard glasses. But I don’t actually mind.
The TCL augmented reality glasses can translate literally right before your eyes. They’re also far too big for my head and with a fringe AND a mask, I look just a tad silly. Still super cool #CES2023 pic.twitter.com/KXsdIntPol
— Asha Bee (@ashabeeeee) January 6, 2023
Upon putting the glasses on, you’re presented with a display similar to a massively paired-back Android phone screen positioned horizontally. There’s a menu before your eyes that a slow swipe of the right arm will allow you to toggle between apps. The display isn’t too consuming. I can clearly see the IRL world in front of me, it’s just a little distracting.
Selecting the camera app with a tap on the same right arm will bring up the camera and with just another tap, you can capture the image that’s within the viewfinder. The AR glasses also boast smart navigation, which, providing the glasses are connected to the internet, you can receive turn-by-turn directions to where you need to go. This smart navigation feature is actually voice-activated, so you can just ask them to get you from where you are to where you need to be.
Another super cool feature is auto-translation. Say for example you’re reading a menu, and you don’t know what a particular word is, you simply point to that word and the TCL RayNeo X2 AR smart glasses will tell you what that word is in your language. It also works with audio captured in a language that isn’t yours.
My glasses actually broke today, so I wasn’t wearing them and it meant I wasn’t able to see the display as good as I could if I was wearing my own prescription underneath. That said, TCL sees longevity with the RayNeo X2s, which could include being able to have them made to your specific prescription.
This isn’t TCL’s first foray into the smart glasses space, but unlike this new model, the NXTWEAR G glasses don’t boast a camera, rather they keep your vision in a contained environment, where you can watch content on a virtually projected 140-inch screen. They’re more about providing an immersive, cinematic experience instead of enhancing your day-to-day life with a camera or heads-up display.
The TCL RayNeo X2 AR smart glasses are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 platform and will be available to developers by the end of Q1 2023 before being up for sale to the public in around July. Australian pricing and availability is not yet known, but the TCL NXTWEAR G smart glasses are available for $899, so you can expect them to set you back a pretty penny.
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