MWC 2024: Oppo presents AR glasses

At this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), Oppo wants to hit the ground running again in Europe after settling its patent dispute with Nokia. The company also offered a glimpse into the future with a prototype of AR glasses.

AR glasses from Oppo in 10 to 20 years’ time

Oppo used the MWC to announce its comeback in Western climes. However, the once popular Chinese manufacturer does not just want to focus on smartphones for future tech gadgets. Rather, there was talk of “innovative products”, which leaves plenty of room for speculation. Apparently, the company is also working on AR glasses. At the tech trade fair in Barcelona, Oppo presented a prototype called Air Glass 3, which immediately stands out not only due to its appearance, which is virtually indistinguishable from a conventional visual aid. It is also surprisingly light at 50g. Even though Oppo emphasizes that a lot of work still needs to go into the glasses, the initial data sounds very exciting.

Among other things, the Air Glass 3 is said to achieve a brightness of 1000 nits. It should also be possible to display colors. However, Oppo admitted to our colleagues at heise online that these are still somewhat pale. The resolution also needs to be sharper. Apparently, however, the battery is standing in the company’s way. In view of the current battery life of 40 minutes with the display activated, there is still a lot of work to be done on the screen’s energy efficiency. Oppo also sends a real damper for tech fans right afterwards. The glasses are not expected to be ready for the market for another ten to 20 years.

Success with AI

Of course, this year’s MWC is all about artificial intelligence. The importance of AI is likely to increase significantly in the coming years. It is therefore not surprising that Oppo also wants to rely on the support of the digital brain for the Air Glass 3. However, the AR glasses do not appear to be able to do this on their own. Instead, they work together with the company’s own AI AndesGPT when actively connected to a smartphone. A touch on the side of the glasses should open it and enable interaction.

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However, this is not the only way to open the AI. Oppo also wants to rely on touch gestures on the glasses themselves for the rest of the operation. You should also not have to have headphones in or on your ears when wearing the glasses. There are directional speakers on the left and right. To prevent them from disturbing your surroundings, they direct the sound to the wearer’s ears. These are used for listening to music as well as for phone calls. There are also microphones on board for the latter.

Purposes of the Oppo Air Glass 3

One of the most important questions is, of course, what Oppo wants its AR glasses to be used for. If the manufacturer has its way, the Air Glass 3 will not only be used as an extension of the smartphone for phone calls or listening to music. The glasses should also be able to offer classic AR applications such as navigation. Compared to the Apple Vision Pro, which will be officially unveiled in 2023, the Air Glass 3 already scores points as a prototype with its significantly slimmer design.

apple vision pro
The competition never sleeps – seen here: the Apple Vision Pro (Image: Apple)

Nevertheless, it has to be said that the company still has to turn a few screws to get a market-ready product off the ground. In view of a market launch in ten years at the earliest, Oppo still has plenty of time. But the competition never sleeps. We can cautiously assume that the second or third generation of the Apple Vision Pro will be launched in ten years’ time. This should then also be significantly slimmer.

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