Oppo’s new AI-powered AR smart glasses give us a glimpse of the next tech revolution


  • Oppo has shown off its Air Glass 3 AR glasses at MWC 2024
  • They’re powered by its AndesGPT AI model and can answer questions
  • They’re just a prototype, but the tech might not be far from launching

While there’s a slight weirdness to the Meta Ray-Ban Smart Glasses – they are a wearable camera, after all – the onboard AI is pretty neat, even if some of its best features are still in beta. So it’s unsurprising that other companies are looking to launch their own AI-powered specs, with Oppo being the latest in unveiling its new Air Glass 3 at MWC 2024.

In a demo video, Oppo shows how the specs have seemingly revolutionized someone's working day. When they boot up, the Air Glass 3's 1,000-nit displays show the user a breakdown of their schedule, and while making a coffee ahead of a meeting they get a message saying that it's started early.

While in the meeting the specs pick up on a question that’s been asked, and Oppo's AndesGPT AI model (which runs on a connected smartphone) is able to provide some possible answers. Later it uses the design details that have been discussed to create an image of a possible prototype design which the wearer then brings to life.

After a good day’s work they can kick back to some of their favorite tunes that play through the glasses’ in-built speakers. All of this is crammed into a 50g design. 

Now, the big caveat here is the Air Glass 3 AR glasses are just a prototype. What’s more, neither of the previous Air Glass models were released outside of China – so there’s a higher than likely chance the Air Glass 3 won’t be either.

But what Oppo is showing off isn’t far from being mimicked by its rivals, and a lot of it is pretty much possible in tech that you can go out and buy today – including those Meta Ray-Ban Smart Glasses.

The future is now

The Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses already have an AI that can answer questions like a voice-controlled ChatGPT

They can also scan the environment around you using the camera to get context for questions – for example, “what meal can I make with these ingredients?” – via their 'Look and Ask' feature. These tools are currently in beta, but the tech is working and the AI features will hopefully be more widely available soon.

They can also alert you to texts and calls that you’re getting and play music, just like the Oppo Air Glass 3 concept.

Orange RayBan Meta Smart Glasses in front of a wall of colorful lenses including green, blue, yellow and pink

The Ray-Ban Meta glasses ooze style and have neat AI tools (Image credit: Meta)

Then there’s the likes of the Xreal Air 2. While their AR display is a little more distracting than the screen found on the Oppo Air Glass 3, they are a consumer product that isn’t mind-blowingly expensive to buy – just $ 399 / £399 for the base model.

If you combine these two glasses then you’re already very close to Oppo’s concept; you’d just need to clean up the design a little, and probably splash out a little more as I expect lenses with built-in displays won’t come cheap.

The only thing I can’t see happening soon is the AI creating a working prototype product design for you. It might be able to provide some inspiration for a designer to work off, but reliably creating a fully functional model seems more than a little beyond existing AI image generation tools' capabilities.

While the Oppo Air Glass 3 certainly look like a promising glimpse of the future, we'll have to see what they're actually capable of if and when they launch outside China.

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Mark Zuckerberg says we’re ‘close’ to controlling our AR glasses with brain signals

Move over eye-tracking and handset controls for VR headsets and AR glasses, according to Mark Zuckerberg – the company’s CEO – Meta is “close” to selling a device that can be controlled by your brain signals. 

Speaking on the Morning Brew Daily podcast (shown below), Zuckerberg was asked to give examples of AI’s most impressive use cases. Ever keen to hype up the products Meta makes – he also recently took to Instagram to explain why the Meta Quest 3 is better than the Apple Vision Pro – he started to discuss the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses that use AI and their camera to answer questions about what you see (though annoyingly this is still only available to some lucky users in beta form).

He then went on to discuss “one of the wilder things we’re working on,” a neural interface in the form of a wristband – Zuckerberg also took a moment to poke fun at Elon Musk’s Neuralink, saying he wouldn’t want to put a chip in his brain until the tech is mature, unlike the first human subject to be implanted with the tech.

Meta’s EMG wristband can read the nervous system signals your brain sends to your hands and arms. According to Zuckerberg, this tech would allow you to merely think how you want to move your hand and that would happen in the virtual without requiring big real-world motions.

Zuckerberg has shown off Meta’s prototype EMG wristband before in a video (shown below) – though not the headset it works with – but what’s interesting about his podcast statement is he goes on to say that he feels Meta is close to having a “product in the next few years” that people can buy and use.

Understandably he gives a rather vague release date and, unfortunately, there’s no mention of how much something like this would cost – though we’re ready for it to cost as much as one of the best smartwatches – but this system could be a major leap forward for privacy, utility and accessibility in Meta’s AR and VR tech.

The next next-gen XR advancement?

Currently, if you want to communicate with the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses via its Look and Ask feature or to respond to a text message you’ve been sent without getting your phone out you have to talk it it. This is fine most of the time but there might be questions you want to ask or replies you want to send that you’d rather keep private.

The EMG wristband allows you to type out these messages using subtle hand gestures so you can maintain a higher level of privacy – though as the podcast hosts note this has issues of its own, not least of which is schools having a harder time trying to stop students from cheating in tests. Gone are the days of sneaking in notes, it’s all about secretly bringing AI into your exam.

Then there are utility advantages. While this kind of wristband would also be useful in VR, Zuckerberg has mostly talked about it being used with AR smart glasses. The big success, at least for the Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses is that they’re sleek and lightweight – if you glance at them they’re not noticeably different to a regular pair of Ray-Bans.

Adding cameras, sensors, and a chipset for managing hand gestures may affect this slim design. That is unless you put some of this functionality and processing power into a separate device like the wristband. 

The inside displays are shown off in the photo, they sit behind the Xreal Air 2 Pro AR glasses shades

The Xreal Air 2 Pro’s displays (Image credit: Future)

Some changes would still need to be made to the specs themselves – chiefly they’ll need to have in-built displays perhaps like the Xreal Air 2 Pro’s screens – but we’ll just have to wait to see what the next Meta smart glasses have in store for us.

Lastly, there’s accessibility. By their very nature, AR and VR are very physical things – you have to physically move your arms around, make hand gestures, and push buttons – which can make them very inaccessible for folks with disabilities that affect mobility and dexterity.

These kinds of brain signal sensors start to address this issue. Rather than having to physically act someone could think about doing it and the virtual interface would interpret these thoughts accordingly.

Based on demos shown so far some movement is still required to use Meta’s neural interface so it’s far from the perfect solution, but it’s the first step to making this tech more accessible and we're excited to see where it goes next.

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TCL has launched a new pair of AR glasses with 120Hz OLED screens

There’s a new pair of AR smart glasses on the scene, in the form of the TCL Nxtwear S Plus specs – a follow-up to the TCL Nxtwear S, which we reviewed in the middle of last year – priced at $ 399 / £399 / AU$ 699.

Much like their predecessors, these glasses can be connected to a compatible device like a phone or console – either by a USB-C Display Port, or by using adaptors that you’ll have to pay extra for – so you can enjoy your favorite show, game, film, or app on a large virtual screen.

For 2D visuals, the OLED displays offer Full-HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) on a display that’s the equivalent screen size of a 215-inch screen placed six meters from your face. For 3D pictures you’ll get a resolution of 3840 x 1080 pixels

TCL Nxtwear S Plus being used to play Mario Kart on the Nintendo Switch

(Image credit: TCL)

In terms of improvements that warrant the Plus title, these TCL specs do have a few important upgrades over the originals.

First, they now boast 600 nits of brightness, 200 more nits than the 400-nit TCL Nxtwear S, and 100 more than the 500-nit Xreal Air 2 Pro specs. This should lead to more vivid colors and better contrast in the displayed picture.

The dual displays also now have a max refresh rate of 120Hz rather than just 60Hz which should make the visuals appear much more smooth than before. We kind of wish they went up to 4K, but this is a resolution other smart specs also have yet to achieve at this price point – so our disappointment isn’t exclusive to the TCL Nxtwear S Plus.

Lastly, the new TCL Nxtwear S Plus smart glasses weigh a whole 2g less than their already lightweight predecessors, coming in at 87g instead of 89g. Based on our tests, smart glasses that weigh this little don’t feel noticeably heavier than wearing a pair of regular specs.

TCL Nxtwear S Plus being used to watch a film in a dark bedroom

(Image credit: TCL)

Some things to watch out for

We haven’t tested the TCL Nxtwear S Plus glasses yet, so our advice would be to try them, or read a few reviews, before you buy them because of two main factors: heat and adapters.

When testing the original TCL Nxtwear S smart specs we found that the bridge got uncomfortably hot within about 20 minutes. Other smart glasses like the Xreal Air 2 Pro and original Xreal Air glasses get around this issue by having the front end of the arm get warm instead – so the hot component isn’t touching your face – so it’s possible that these new TCL Nxtwear glasses won’t have the same issue as the old version. 

If the bridge still does get quite warm then you might not be able to enjoy the TCL glasses to their fullest.

The Xreal Air 2 Pro AR smart glasses next to the Xreal Beam hub, they're both on a wooden table in front of a brick wall

You might want to check out the Xreal Air 2 Pro glasses (Image credit: Future)

Adapters are also an issue for a lot of smart glasses. While they can interface with a good number of devices, you’ll need quite a few not-so-optional-add-ons to get the best experience. 

These include special cables that allow you to hook them up to more devices, and adapters that have their own internal battery, so you don’t drain the connected device’s battery as quickly. Picking up all of these extras can add to the cost, which is always a shame when you’re already spending $ 399 / £399 / AU$ 699 on the device itself.

Noise leakage can also be a problem for smart glasses with their open-ear speakers, though the TCL Nxtwear S Plus glasses have a Whisper Mode that promises to keep noise leakage from their 0.5mm stereo speakers to a minimum . We've yet to use any smart glasses that don’t have a problem with audio escaping to the people around you, even if they have their own version of Whisper Mode, but hopefully the TCL Nxtwear S Plus specs will convince us that smart glasses don’t have to be noisy.

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These new smart glasses can teach people about the world thanks to generative AI

It was only a matter of time before someone added generative AI to an AR headset and taking the plunge is start-up company Brilliant Labs with their recently revealed Frame smart glasses.

Looking like a pair of Where’s Waldo glasses (or Where’s Wally to our UK readers), the Frame houses a multimodal digital assistant called Noa. It consists of multiple AI models from other brands working together in unison to help users learn about the world around them. These lessons can be done just by looking at something and then issuing a command. Let’s say you want to know more about the nutritional value of a raspberry. Thanks to OpenAI tech, you can command Noa to perform a “visual analysis” of the subject. The read-out appears on the outer AR lens. Additionally, it can offer real-time language translation via Whisper AI.

The Frame can also search the internet via its Perplexity AI model. Search results will even provide price tags for potential purchases. In a recent VentureBeat article, Brilliant Labs claims Noa can provide instantaneous price checks for clothes just by scanning the piece, or fish out home listings for new houses on the market. All you have to do is look at the house in question. It can even generate images on the fly through Stable Diffusion, according to ZDNET

Evolving assistant

Going back to VentureBeat, their report offers a deeper insight into how Noa works. 

The digital assistant is always on, constantly taking in information from its environment. And it’ll apparently “adopt a unique personality” over time. The publication explains that upon activating for the first time, Noa appears as an “egg” on the display. Owners will have to answer a series of questions, and upon finishing, the egg hatches into a character avatar whose personality reflects the user. As the Frame is used, Noa analyzes the interactions between it and the user, evolving to become better at tackling tasks.

Brilliant Labs Frame exploded view

(Image credit: Brilliant Labs)

An exploded view of the Frame can be found on Brilliant Labs’ official website providing interesting insight into how the tech works. On-screen content is projected by a micro-OLED onto a “geometric prism” in the lens. 9To5Google points out this is reminiscent of how Google Glass worked. On the nose bridge is the Frame’s camera sitting on a PCBA (printed circuit board assembly). 

At the end of the stems, you have the batteries inside two big hubs. Brilliant Labs states the frames can last a whole day, and to charge them, you’ll have to plug in the Mister Power dongle, inadvertently turning the glasses into a high-tech Groucho Marx impersonation.

Brilliant Labs Frame with Mister Power

(Image credit: Brilliant Labs)

Availability

Currently open for pre-order, the Frame will run you $ 350 a pair. It’ll be available in three colors: Smokey Black, Cool Gray, and the transparent H20. You can opt for prescription lenses. Doing so will bump the price tag to $ 448.There's a chance Brilliant Labs won’t have your exact prescription. They recommend to instead select the option that closely matches your actual prescription. Shipping is free and the first batch rolls out April 15.

It appears all of the AI features are subject to a daily usage cap. Brilliant Labs has plans to launch a subscription service lifting the limit. We reached out to the company for clarification and asked several other questions like exactly how does the Frame receive input? This story will be updated at a later time.

Until then, check out TechRadar's list of the best VR headsets for 2024.

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The 5 best VR headset and AR glasses announcements at CES 2024

Every January, the Las Vegas convention centers are full to the brim with exciting new tech for CES, and that’s no different for CES 2024. And what tech is more exciting than the best VR headsets and AR glasses?

We scoured CES 2024 for the best VR and AR tech announcements. We drove in AR-powered cars, tested a bunch of different glasses, and even subjected ourselves to a haptic suit.

It was all worth it, though, to find five fantastic gadgets for this CES 2024 round-up. 

If you want to check out more of the awesome tech showcased at CES, we’ve got a guide to the 20 best gadgets of CES 2024 and the best wearable and fitness tech of CES 2024.

1. New Qualcomm XR2+ chip

This isn’t a VR headset, and, technically, it was revealed before CES, but we’re including it here because Qualcomm gave us a more in-depth look at the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 at the Las Vegas tech convention. This chipset is going to feature in a number of the best VR headsets we see released in the next few years.

Key Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 2 specs, including that it has support fo 4.3k displays, 8x better AI performance, and 2.5x better GPU performance

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

This powerful successor to the XR2+ Gen 1 found in the Meta Quest Pro will power the next generation of enterprise headsets. This includes the Samsung VR headset being developed in partnership with Google.

In practical terms, the chipset can support displays up to 4.3K resolution per eye running at 90Hz, boasts a 2.5x better GPU performance than the XR2 Gen 2 found in the Meta Quest 3, and has 8x better AI performance. It can also support Wi-Fi 7 and full-color mixed reality passthrough.

Qualcomm is currently the name in the XR chipset game, and we expect the XR2+ Gen 2 will only further cement its position. And it might help rival XR gadgets prove they're just as capable as the Apple Vision Pro.

2. Asus AirVision M1 glasses 

Speaking of Apple, this year’s CES prize for the gadget that sounds most like a knockoff Apple product goes to the AirVision M1 glasses from Asus.

A mannequin wearing the Asus AirVision M1 while looking at AR spreadsheets floating in front of them

(Image credit: Asus)

The name might be reminiscent of the Vision Pro – sprinkling in aspects of the iPad Air and Apple’s M1 chipset found in some iPads and Macbooks – but is almost completely unrelated to Apple’s hardware. The only minor similarity is that these specs are a wearable AR display. 

The Asus glasses don’t function on their own; you need to plug them into a compatible phone or computer with a USB-C display port (meaning it can output video and audio through USB-C). These kinds of gadgets are admittedly a lot of fun, but our experience with them is that they’re still pretty pricey for what you get. The resolution is only full-HD, and you often need to buy several not-so-optional add-ons to get the most out of your experience – raising the price above the usual $ 400 / £400 / AU$ 600  price you already pay for smart spectacles.

We haven’t yet tried the Asus AirVision M1 glasses – nor do we know what regions they’ll be available in or when the launch date is – so we’ll reserve judgment on them for now. But if you’re after a pair of specs that lives up to what you expect from “AR glasses” the next item on this list might be a better pick.

3. Xreal Air 2 Ultra 

The Xreal Air 2 Ultra floating in front of a black background wqith the word 'Xreal' below them in red

(Image credit: Xreal)

Xreal makes some of our favorite smart glasses – you can find out more about the AR specs it made before in our Xreal Air review and Xreal Air 2 Pro review – and at CES 2024, it debuted something that promises to be even better than what we’ve seen from it in the past.

The Xreal Air 2 Ultra goes beyond simply projecting an AR screen in your real-world space like its predecessors. It’s a proper spatial computer complete with a camera – so the device can track your hands and identify real-world objects that virtual elements can interact with. 

However, while the glasses sound a lot like the Apple Vision Pro there’s one downside – you need an external device to power them. Specifically, Xreal lists only the Samsung Galaxy S22, the Samsung Galaxy S23, and a “custom computing unit” that is yet to be released as the gadgets fit for the job. If you aren’t interested in spatial computing you could use them as a wearable full-HD display for any gadget with a USB-C display port.

On the flip side, even if you buy a new Samsung phone, you could get a whole Xreal spatial computing package for around $ 1,000 / £1,100 if you can find a Galaxy S22 on sale. This is less than a third of the price of the $ 3,499 Apple Vision Pro – though it is a lot pricier than the $ 499.99 / £479.99 / AU$ 799.99 Meta Quest 3.

We don’t yet know how well this Air 2 Ultra experience compares to its rivals, but if it can deliver a solid experience Xreal could be on to a winner.

4. AR glasses in a car 

BMW AR Experience

My ride. (Image credit: Future)

BMW has been finding ways to bring XR tech to cars for a while. We’ve previously seen its efforts to bring VR offices and entertainment on your travels so car passengers can do more with their journey, but its CES 2024 demo centered on drivers.

Thanks to a pair of Xreal Air 2 glasses, we saw AR directions that guided us through the streets of Las Vegas (for the demo, we were in the passenger seat while someone else drove). We could also see warnings about upcoming potholes, stop signs, and how much charge the electric vehicle had left.

This was all just a very well-made research pilot to help inform the future of driving tech. But the BMW AR experience sold us on the idea, so we hope this kind of tech isn’t too far from being more than just a prototype. 

5. Sony’s enterprise headset 

Siemens Sony headset

(Image credit: Siemens)

Most people think of entertainment when they think of VR, but there’s a huge push to bring more XR gadgets to industry – a trend that the newly announced Sony XR headset continues.

Created in partnership with Siemens, the device is designed to help companies bring more stages of production – in particular, design and prototyping – into the metaverse. Using the headset, they can produce and analyze 3D models of their designs and diagnose any issues before investing in real-world prototypes.

In general, the headset looks pretty standard, but it does feature an odd pair of handsets. One is a more traditionally shaped VR controller, while the other is a ring. The advantages of this setup are that you have a hand free to more easily interact with real-world objects, and you can get hands-on with virtual objects while still having the convenience of buttons on a controller.

There’s not much more to say about the headset for now, but given its standalone design maybe it’ll pave the way for a successor to the PSVR 2 headset that’s no longer tethered to a PlayStation console.

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Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses finally get the AI camera feature we were promised, but there’s a catch

When the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses launched they did so without many of the impressive AI features we were promised. Now Meta is finally rolling out these capabilities to users, but they’re still in the testing phase and only available in the US.

During their Meta Connect 2023 announcement, we were told the follow-up to the Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses would get some improvements we expected – namely a slightly better camera and speakers – but also some unexpected AI integration.

Unfortunately, when we actually got to test the specs out its AI features boiled down to very basic commands. You can instruct them to take a picture, record a video, or contact someone through Messenger or WhatsApp. In the US you could also chat to a basic conversational AI – like ChatGPT – though this was still nothing to write home about. 

While the glasses’ design is near-perfect, the speakers and camera weren’t impressive enough to make up for the lacking AI. So overall in our Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses review we didn’t look too favorably on the specs. 

The Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses Collection is stylish looking on this person's face

Press the button or ask the AI to take a picture (Image credit: Meta)

Our perception could soon be about to change drastically, however, as two major promised features are on their way: Look and Ask, and Bing integration.

Look and Ask is essentially a wearable voice-controlled Google Lens with a few AI-powered upgrades. While wearing the smart glasses you can say “Hey Meta, look and…” followed by a question about what you can see. The AI will then use the camera to scan your environment so it can provide a detailed answer to your query. On the official FAQ possible questions you can ask include “What can I make with these ingredients?” or “How much water do these flowers need?” or “Translate this sign into English.” 

To help the Meta glasses provide better information when you’re using its conversational and Look and Ask features the specs can also now access the internet via Bing. This should mean the specs can source more up-to-date data letting it answer questions about sports matches that are currently happening, or provide real-time info on what nearby restaurants are the best rated, among other things.

Still not perfect

Orange RayBan Meta Smart Glasses in front of a wall of colorful lenses including green, blue, yellow and pink

(Image credit: Meta)

It all sounds very science fiction, but unfortunately these almost magical capabilities come with a catch. For now, the new features – just like the existing conversational AI – are in beta testing. 

So the glasses might have trouble with some of your queries and provide inaccurate answers, or not be able to find an answer at all. What’s more, as Meta explains in its FAQ any AI-processed pictures you take while part of the beta will be stored by Meta and used to train its AI. So your Look and Ask snaps aren’t private.

Lastly, the Meta Ray-Ban smart glasses beta is only available in the US. So if you live somewhere else like me you won’t be able to try these features out – and probably won’t until 2024.

If you are in the US and happy with the terms of Meta’s Privacy Policy, you can sign up for the Early Access program and start testing these new tools. For everyone else hopefully these features won’t be in beta for long, or at least won’t be US-exclusive – otherwise we’ll be left continuing to wonder why we spent $ 299 / £299 / AU$ 449 on smart specs that aren’t all that much better than dumb Ray-Ban Wayfarers at half the cost.

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Samsung Glasses could be the name of a new pair of Samsung smart specs

Rumors of some kind of Samsung smart glasses have been swirling for years at this point, but it looks as though the wait for an actual device might soon be over: Samsung has filed to register “Samsung Glasses” as a trademark in the UK.

This comes from UploadVR (via Android Central), and the filing comes with a description of the categories the product covers: virtual reality headsets, augmented reality headsets, headphones, smartphones, and smart glasses.

That covers a lot of ground. Virtual reality or VR means fully enclosed digital experiences, augmented reality or AR means looking at the real world with digital graphics overlaid on top, mixed reality or MR is enhanced AR where the digital elements and real elements interact, and extended reality or XR is used to mean VR, AR and MR all together.

Exactly which category the Samsung Glasses might fall into remains to be seen, but we know that the company is working on several different products offering these technologies, after previously being responsible for the Samsung Gear VR.

What to expect

Samsung itself has confirmed that it has an XR headset in the pipeline to rival the Apple Vision Pro, but it's not expected to appear until later in 2024, so that Samsung has time to get features such as display sharpness as good as they can be.

The term “glasses” really doesn't sound like a headset, anyway. Could it be that Samsung is also working on a pair of AR specs? We've seen suggestions of this in previous years, though no confirmation from Samsung itself.

Or, we might be talking about more basic smart glasses: able to take photos and videos, an on-board smart assistant, but no fancy augmented reality. See our Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses review for Meta's recent entry in this product category.

Right now it's not clear exactly what to expect – but it looks very much like Samsung will soon launch a device that you can wear on your face. Its next big launch event should be for the Samsung Galaxy S24 phone, sometime in January.

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Want a pair of AR glasses? Now’s the best time to finally buy some

If you've been looking to pick up a pair of AR glasses but have been put off by the price then this year's best Black Friday deals might be able to lend a hand. There are some big savings to be had on a wide range of deals.

The popular Xreal Air glasses are currently $ 271 at Amazon – down from $ 379 – and the recently released  RayNeo Air 2 glasses are $ 30, now down to $ 349 at Amazon. Best of all every deal below is the lowest ever price these AR glasses have ever been. So no matter which pair or bundle you pick up you'll be getting a bargain this Black Friday.

If you're after something a bit more immersive, you might instead prefer this year's Oculus Quest 2 Black Friday deals. Otherwise, scroll down to see some AR glasses discounts.

Today's best Black Friday AR glasses deals

Xreal Air glasses: was $ 379 now $ 271 at Amazon
The Xreal Air AR glasses are currently over $ 100 off for Black Friday which is a really solid deal. Connect these AR specs to a compatible smartphone, tablet, or laptop and you’ll be able to see the screen on a massive virtual display. There’s a really fun gadget and normally quite pricey, so this is a deal you don’t want to ignore.View Deal

Xreal Air glasses + Xreal Beam: was $ 449 now $ 379 at Xreal
To make the Xreal glasses better you can pick up this bundle that includes the Beam. It’s a portable power source that phones can wirelessly cast to, meaning you won’t drain your phone’s battery as quickly and it allows you to connect the specs to a wider range of gadgets. Just remember to use the $ 70 voucher for a full discount.

If you already have the glasses, the Beam on its own is $ 10 off. It was $ 119 but is now $ 109 at Xreal.View Deal

Xreal Air glasses + Xreal Adapter: was $ 369 now $ 309 at Amazon
This bundle includes the Xreal Airs and an adapter that makes it easier to connect the Xreal glasses to iPhones (if you have an HDMI to Lightning converter), and game consoles like a PS5 and Xbox Series X.

If you already have the glasses, the Adapter on its own is $ 10 off. It was $ 49 but is now $ 39 at Xreal.View Deal

Rokid Max glasses: was $ 379 now $ 299 at Amazon
Instead of the Xreal Air glasses, you could opt for the Rokid Max specs. These glasses do offer several benefits including better field-of-view and are slightly lighter, though we found they can get uncomfortably hot during use which can be distracting.View Deal

RayNeo Air 2 glasses: was $ 379 now $ 349 at Amazon
We’ve yet to try these specs out, but $ 30 on a pair of AR glasses that launched this year isn’t bad. We have tried the related Nxtwear S AR glasses and thought they were fine, though they weren’t faultless so we’d recommend checking out some reviews before picking up this RayNeo gadget.View Deal

I've had the chance to test a large range of AR glasses like the ones above, and I think they are really fun gadgets – I love using them, and my friends and family who have tried them think they're awesome too.

On a commute, or just when you and your partner want to use the TV at the same time you can slip on a pair of these and have a large full HD display floating in front of you. Unfortunately, they're normally too expensive for what you get. Spending around $ 400 on a wearable display is a lot, especially when you need to pay extra for add-ons that are optional in the loosest sense of the word (to get the most out of these specs you need an adapter or two).

These Black Friday deals bring the prices down to more reasonable levels; they're literally the cheapest these glasses have ever been. If you want to find out more about these AR glasses then check out our full Xreal Air review, Rokid Max review, and TCL Nxtwear S review.

If you are thinking of getting a pair of AR glasses, I'd also suggest checking out our Black Friday headphones deals page. The audio from these glasses is pretty weak, and it leaks too. For a better and more private experience, a pair of good Bluetooth headphones is a must.

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Hidden code points to Google reviving its AR glasses project

Google Glass was one of the first devices to build augmented reality tech into spectacles, but that device came and went without making much of a real impact. Now it looks like Google is once again interested in this particular product category.

Based on hidden code discovered by 9to5Google in the Google app for Android, there's a new reference to “iris”, as well as to launching Google Assistant with a tap on the right temple – which sounds like a pair of AI specs to us.

Now Project Iris was the codename of the specs that Google briefly showed off at Google I/O in 2022: their main job was to translate dialog spoken in a foreign language into text that would appear before your eyes.

It was only a short demo, and we haven't heard much about the glasses since – except in June of this year, when a report appeared that suggested the project had been shelved. Four months later, it could be back on the table once again.

AR and MR

Considering the brevity of the initial demo, and the lack of official information about these AR specs, we don't have much to go on in terms of what they can do – or indeed why they might have fallen down Google's list of priorities.

We were certainly impressed by what Google showed off last year, but it seems likely that these specs would go beyond instant translation and cover a variety of other features too. We might be talking about everything Google Assistant can do, and then some.

Even while Google has been relatively quiet on this topic – at least since Google Glass Enterprise was discontinued –  the market category continues to trundle on, as our Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses review shows.

We also know that Samsung and Google are currently working on a mixed reality headset to take on the likes of the Meta Quest 3 and the Apple Vision Pro. Based on this report, there could also be something more lightweight in the pipeline again.

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Google has apparently killed its AR glasses – and that’s good news for Apple

Google isn't averse to killing off its products, with the now-shuttered Stadia and the slow demise of Fitbit being the latest candidates for cremation – and now we can sadly add its AR translation glasses to the list, according to a new report.

According to Insider, Google has shelved its plans – codenamed Project Iris – to make augmented-reality glasses. If that's the case, we can wave goodbye to the live-translation spectacles that we first saw at Google IO 2022.

Google has apparently been working on its AR glasses project for several years, though the concept seemingly differs from the separate Extended Reality (or XR) initiative that it's started with Samsung

While the latter will likely be more of an Apple Vision Pro rival, with a ski-goggle design, this newly-canned AR project was apparently “a series of devices more closely resembling eyeglasses”. Like those exciting, prototype Google Translate glasses that we saw in the video below last year.

It now seems that Google has backtracked on making AR hardware itself, instead focus on making software and operating systems. The Insider source claims that Google is making an Android XR platform for Samsung's forthcoming headset, which leaks suggest will be a standalone device that works independently of a computer or phone.

According to an employee that Insider interviewed, Google now instead wants to be an “Android for AR” rather than a hardware player like it is in phones with the Pixel series. The search giant said at Google IO 2023 that it would “share more later this year” about its AR partnership with Samsung. But it looks like we'll sadly hear no more about its plans to make glasses specifically for Translate or Maps.


Analysis: The AR path is clear for Apple and Meta

A man wearing the TCL RayNeo AR glasses and looking at a graphic

TCL RayNeo X2s (above) are another example of AR translation glasses. (Image credit: TCL)

If Google has indeed canned its plans to make a series of AR glasses, that would be a real shame – we argued that Google IO 2023 felt like a now-or-never moment for its AR translation glasses to step towards reality, and it seems the search giant is erring towards 'never'.

What we particularly liked about the live-translation glasses concept was their unobtrusive design and singular focus – neither of which apply to Apple's larger Vision Pro, which is apparently uncomfortable to use for long periods.

It's possible that another company could come in and fill that gap. We had the pleasure of trying TCL's RayNeo X2 AR glasses at CES 2023, while Oppo's Air Glass 2 have an impressive design (if one that probably won't be available to buy in Western markets).

But otherwise the path is now clear for Apple, Meta and potentially Samsung to own the AR space. The Vision Pro isn't technically 'augmented reality', but Apple is rumored to be already working on two successors that might ultimately lead to some Apple Glasses.

But it's Meta that could ultimately fill the hole left by Google for some babel fish-style translation glasses. In February 2022, it announced its ambitious plans to make a 'Universal Speech Translator'. And at the time Mark Zuckerberg said that “with improved efficiency and a simpler architecture, direct speech-to-speech could unlock near human-quality real-time translation for future devices, like AR glasses”. 

With more news on Samsung's XR headset expected later this year, there's certainly no shortage of hardware players who are trying to put transparent computers on our faces – but given the suitably of services like Google Translate and Google Maps for some AR glasses, it's a shame that the search giant is no longer in that mix.

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