If you want to escape from the unrelenting harsh truths of reality but still want to remain connected to your smartphone (for WhatsApp bants and cat gifs), then Xiaomi’s freshly unveiled Wireless AR Glass Discovery Edition could be just the thing you need.
In essence, it’s an augmented reality (AR) headset that’s capable of wireless connecting to your smartphone, negating the need for pesky, cumbersome cables. Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 platform, it’s plenty powerful in its own right, and plays nicely with the Snapdragon Spaces mixed reality platform.
Forged from a fancy magnesium-lithium alloy with carbon fibre elements thrown in for good measure, it’s also lightweight, weighing just 126g. That’s a damn sight lighter than most other standalone VR/AR headsets, and you can tweak it to your needs too, thanks to three different nosepieces and an optional myopic clip for near-sighted users.
The best part though, are the lenses themselves. They use clever electrochromic technology which enables them to change their transparency depending on the amount of electrical current running through them. This means that you can completely black them out for complete virtual reality (VR) use, or have them completely transparent for easy blending of virtual objects in the real world.
On the screen front, we’re looking at a MicroOLED display with up to 1200 nits of brightness, with enough resolution to provide 58 PPD (pixels per degree). For context, the Oculus Quest 2 has around 21 PPD, making Xiaomi’s offering noticeably sharper.
With gesture navigation (courtesy of hand-detection cameras) also included for easier navigation, it appears to tick all the boxes VR and AR fans could ask for. It’s a shame, then, that it’s really only designed for use by developers, but we’re crossing our fingers for an eventual consumer release at some point in the hopefully not-too-distant future.
- Read more: Sony PlayStation VR2 review