Huawei is getting back into the smartglasses game, and has teased a new pair that are set to run Harmony OS.
The new smart specs will be audio glasses with interchangeable lenses, rather than full AR smartglasses, but will have the company’s custom operating system on-board.
They look set for a Chinese release, and will also employ a smart assistant on board.
The smartglasses will employ bone conductive speakers in the temples to act as music players, and there will be a microphone for exchanges with the on-board voice assistant.
And apparently the lenses are swappable as a single unit, which means in theory, you can use them as sunglasses and reading glasses, without having to buy multiple pairs.
We have seen audio sunglasses from Huawei before, and the company collaborated with Gentle Monster (below) back in 2020. However, there’s no fashion tie-in here, and the company is going it alone.
We should see an official unveiling on 23 December, when we could also see the Huawei Watch D with blood pressure tracking capabilities.
The interest around smartglasses has been building throughout 2021, although the realities are that quality AR specs, as we were promised with Google Glass all those years ago, are still a few years off.
But it seems that companies are playing around with the glasses form factor ahead of true smartglasses, testing the waters, gathering data on what people like, and perhaps normalizing that space for future wearables.
We’ve also seen Oppo announce the Oppo Air Glass specs, which provide “assisted reality” rather than augmented reality. The Air Glass do provide a HUD display for essential data, using a Spark Micro Projector that packs an exceptionally bright Micro LED chip to deliver a 640 x 480 resolution image.
And Xiaomi has also shown off a concept, which uses microLED panels to show information, in a thinner and lighter frame.
So just like smartwatches, it seems that the big smartphone players are looking to drive into the smartglasses space.
Whatever happens, 2022 looks to be a big year for smartglasses – even if they’re still some way off the AR dream we were promised.