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mood posted a topic in Technology NewsRazer unveils its Anzu smart glasses featuring integrated speakers Available now for $199 What just happened? Razer is joining the list of companies selling 'smart glasses' featuring integrated speakers around the temple areas. The $199 Razer Anzu comes with two sets of lenses and is available with different frame shapes, while the highlight is the built-in speakers and touch controls. Audio-enabled glasses aren't new; Bose's Frames sunglasses have been around for a couple of years now, and Amazon's Echo Frames launched in 2020. Razer's version comes with two interchangeable lenses: a clear pair that blocks 35 percent of blue light, reducing eyestrain while looking at a screen indoors; and polarized sunglasses lenses that come with 99% UVA/UVB protection for outdoor wear. The highlight feature is the Anzu's sound capabilities. It features an open-ear audio design with 16mm drivers and an omnidirectional microphone. Razer says the setup is "nearly imperceivable" in the frame. The Anzu's truly wireless design splits the left and right speakers, which Razer says improves the frame's comfort and flexibility. Audio functions such as play, pause, skip, and smartphone assistant activation can all be accessed from the glasses' touch interface. Razer writes the Anzu uses 60ms low latency Bluetooth connection for smooth, stutter-free sound, and you get around five hours of playtime from a single charge. It even has an "active gaming mode," and you get the choice of rectangular or round frames, both in large and small sizes. Razer has partnered with Lensabl to offer a 15 percent discount on prescription lenses for the Anzu. The IPX4 rating means it's splashproof—for wearing in the rain—and buyers get a carrying case and USB-A charging cable. The Anzu is available from Razer.com, Best Buy, and RazerStore locations. Source: Razer unveils its Anzu smart glasses featuring integrated speakers
Smart glasses come in many different flavors. There's the augmented reality kind, which can overlay helpful information on the real world, the type that acts as a Bluetooth speaker but on your head, and even glasses that work as a head-strapped camera to capture moments of your day. Then there's the kind that work as a wearable display—with their tiny screens embedded into the sides of each lens so you can view multiple virtual screens to watch movies, work, or play games—all without needing to hold a smartphone up to your face. Most wearable displays, like Lenovo's ThinkReality A3, need to be tethered to a mobile device or laptop for power and processing so the glasses aren't weighted down by chips and batteries. But that's what's interesting about Nimo, new glasses from a company called Nimo Planet. These smart specs forgo the need for a wired connection while remaining relatively light. Instead, they utilize Qualcomm's Snapdragon XR1 processor, turning them into something like a mini-computer that sits on your head. Nimo Planet wants its glasses to replace your laptop when you're on the go. Instead of lugging around your 3-pound machine, you'd just grab your Nimo, a slim Bluetooth keyboard, and a mouse (or maybe something like this). Don the glasses at the airport or coffee shop, and the dual displays on the edge of each lens will serve up to six virtual screens so you can continue typing away. Or so the company says. Nimo Planet has been working on these glasses for more than four years, with a core team of 10 people based out of Kerala, India. After burning through a mere $300,000 during development in that time, the company is finally launching an Enterprise and a Developer program, where third-party developers can get early access to dev kits, and enterprise customers can reserve units. The company expects the glasses to ship in the first half of 2023, and folks in select cities in India and the US will be able to buy Nimo for a cool $799. What makes Nimo feel promising is its focused approach. It's not trying to do everything. There are no augmented reality mechanics. There's no camera for you to take pictures with. There aren't any speakers either—you'll need to pair your own Bluetooth earbuds to the glasses. And these glasses aren't designed to handle intensive tasks like Photoshop, just lower-lift apps for word processing and project management. “We want to make the hardware as simple as possible and make sure the multiscreen productivity works great," says Rohildev Nattukallingal, Nimo Planet's founder and CEO. "Everything else is secondary for us. That's why we don't have a camera, speaker, depth sensors—all the big companies are focusing to build the next mixed reality world, but our approach is more about how we can help someone work anywhere without compromising productivity.” Nattukallingal says potential customers he's spoken to are interested in implementing mixed reality glasses for employees who need to work while traveling. The first perk? No one can peer over your shoulder and see what's on your screen—important if you're handling delicate contracts. (Lenovo also touts this as a boon of the ThinkReality A3, its tethered smart glasses system.) Second, companies know that employees are more efficient when they have multiple monitors to work with, but it's hard to replicate that experience outside of the home or office. Six virtual screens can, hopefully, help with that—especially when the whole package is lighter than a laptop and its bulky charger. Nattukallingal says the current prototype of Nimo weighs 120 grams, 10 grams lighter than the ThinkReality A3, but he expects to shave off around 30 grams before launch. In a demo over Zoom, Nattukallingal showed off the ease of multitasking on Nimo. By right-clicking on a wireless mouse, the user can drag any app to wherever it's needed. Nattukallingal pulled up Microsoft Word next to PowerPoint and put Slack to the far left. As he showed me, you can just turn your head to look at one of the six virtual screens at any moment. Up top, you can place widgets like your calendar. Below, you can find and toggle settings like Wi-Fi. Apps are what will make or break glasses such as these. Nattukallingal says because Nimo OS is based on a forked version of Android, it does not have the certification to run the Google Play Store. That said, many Android apps will work just fine downloaded through open source app stores, including the aforementioned Microsoft apps. Some, like Google Workspace apps, are tightly ingrained with Google Play Services and are incompatible with Nimo, but that's where you'll end up using the web app instead. “The OS manages the native Android apps to run on multiple screens and splits the apps into multiple windows,” Nattukallingal says. “Developers don't need to make any changes to support Nimo OS. In the future, we will have [a software development kit] for developers to create enhanced apps for Nimo.” Nimo pairs to a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. The temple pieces also allow touch input, and you can use the screen of a paired smartphone as a trackpad. Photograph: Nimo Planet Nimo looks better than most smart glasses, but its arms are still chunky. A cursory second glance is all anyone will need to confirm that you're obviously not wearing normal glasses. The arms do support touch input though, so if you don't have a Bluetooth keyboard or mouse paired, you can use your gaze to look at items and tap the arm to select them. Naturally, the keyboard and mouse will be the primary input mechanism for Nimo, but the company says it has filed a patent for a new type of input device that would replace them (this is a few years away). Alternatively, you can use your phone as a trackpad. Speaking of which, since Nimo has no 5G or LTE connectivity, you'll need to hook it up to Wi-Fi or tether it to your phone to receive and send data. As for the dual 720p displays, they might look small, but what you see is the virtual equivalent of a 45- to 50-inch screen. The whole system will last around two and a half hours on a single charge, but Nattukallingal thinks this can improve as the company works with new battery vendors and further optimizes the hardware and software. The glasses will come with a carrying case that doubles as a charging station with a built-in battery, much like a wireless earbud case. And if you're wondering about prescriptions, you won't be able to get those done through the company. You'll need to head to an optometrist and have them insert your prescription lenses into the frame. It all sounds promising, but whether Nimo Planet can deliver a product that works as advertised is a different question. The company doesn't have the best track record—many of its team members used to work at Fin Robotics, the company behind the Neyya ring, which enabled wearers to use gestures to control various devices. (Nattukallingal was a cofounder and former CEO there.) The Neyya didn't end up shipping to every backer of its crowdfunding campaign, and Nattukallingal blamed internal turmoil and untrustworthy advisors for the missteps. Harmeet Singh Walia, an analyst at CounterPoint Research, is also skeptical about Nimo Planet's claims. While Nimo hits some of the points Walia notes, like how the glasses would need to have computational power at least equivalent to an iPad, weigh less than 100 grams, feature batteries that last several hours, and be priced affordably to really take off, Walia expects all of “this to be a highly unlikely possibility within the first half of this decade.” Nattukallingal says there are more than 2,000 people on Nimo's waiting list, and the company might consider a crowdfunding campaign once the final design is complete and the product is ready for manufacture. We'll have to wait to see if it can succeed where Neyya failed. These Smart Glasses Want to Replace Your Laptop (May require free registration to view)
mood posted a topic in Technology NewsNew Vuzix MicroLED smartglasses show how small the future is becoming A projector the size of a pencil eraser, built into eyeglass frames. A MicroLED projector is shrinking Vuzix' latest smartglasses into something that doesn't look very weird at all. Vuzix Taking a first or second glance at the pair of glasses that Vuzix CEO Paul Travers holds during a Zoom call, they look familiar. They're like glasses I would shop for. They're almost like the glasses I'm wearing. The company's next-gen glasses, coming this year and showcased virtually at CES, look more normal because they're using a far more compact projector with MicroLED technology. Most smartglasses use internal projectors to send information to the lenses, where the wearer can see it. The MicroLED tech used here comes from a partnership with Shanghai-based Jade Bird Display, and the two companies look ready to release a variety of wearable displays and glasses using the new co-designed tech. I previously tried a pair of almost-normal smart glasses, made by North, at last year's CES. That company has since been acquired by Google and those glasses are no longer for sale, but Vuzix looks ready to keep pushing regular-looking smartglasses forward even further. I also test-drove Vuzix' thick Blade smart glasses two years ago, but those used a much larger Texas Instruments DLP projector called Cobra that Travers showed me in comparison to the company's newest MicroLED module. It's a big size difference. It means the new glasses have much slimmer arms, and can more easily hide most of the tech in the frames. MicroLED tech, besides being small, can also individually turn pixels on and off rather than blast a lot of light all the time. Vuzix' last display couldn't do that, which also means these glasses should have significantly better battery life. Vuzix's Next Gen Smart Glasses (they don't have any other official name yet) will have versions with cameras and ones without, along with spatial audio and waveguides to display stereo screens on etched lenses that Vuzix promises could even work for my severely myopic (over -8) prescription (a higher-res 1080p version is in the works for next year.) The glasses could optionally have LTE for a self-contained connection without a phone. "You will see this morph into standalone glasses that can be your phone," Travers says, though 5G isn't yet feasible because of battery and design limits. A look at the size of the whole display engine. It's small. Vuzix Vuzix has a Qualcomm chip in its Next Gen smartglasses. Travers wouldn't confirm which one, although he says it's not possible yet to put Qualcomm's high-end XR2 chip, used in the Oculus Quest 2, on such a small pair of glasses. "I wish it was an XR2 that was in these glasses," he says. "Believe me, we tried to fit them in." Vuzix already works in the medical landscape with some of its heads-up displays, which can slide into complicated equipment in ways that larger devices like a Microsoft HoloLens might have a hard time with. The company's next-gen MicroLED smart glasses look like glasses right now, but it's also possible that this tech will find its way into a lot of other forms and products. Travers mentions that the tiny display engines, with or without waveguides and lenses, will be sold to others. "These are going to be like a parts supplier," Travers says. "If Google wanted engines, they could buy from Vuzix [and Jade Bird]." Travers mentions scuba-diving glasses and gun sights as a couple of areas where these displays could end up. Vuzix won't be alone in the next wave of smartglasses. Facebook is expected to release its first pair of glasses later this year, and companies such as Qualcomm have already suggested a wide range of AR glasses is on the horizon. Vuzix' tech is an indicator that the glasses are going to get more compact, but even so, it may be a while before these turn into the fully holographic-display glasses that sci-fi stories have long dreamed of. Source: New Vuzix MicroLED smartglasses show how small the future is becoming
mood posted a topic in Technology NewsLenovo's ThinkReality A3 smart glasses are built to get work done Lenovo built its new smart glasses to help people get work done. What you need to know Lenovo announced the ThinkReality A3 smart glasses at CES 2021. The smart glasses can show up to five virtual displays at once. The smart glasses can tether to PCs or select Motorola phones. Lenovo announced its ThinkReality A3 smart glasses at CES 2021. The smart glasses worth with PCs or select Motorola smartphones through a USB-C connection. The AR glasses run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 platform and have stereoscopic 180p displays. The ThinkReality A3 smart glasses will be available starting in mid-2021. Lenovo has not released price details for the glasses at this time. The ThinkReality A3 glasses have two different types of cameras. For room-scale tracking, they have dual-fish-eye cameras. The smart glasses also have an 8MP RGB camera that allows people to share 1080p video. With the glasses, people can see up to five virtual displays. Lenovo highlights how these large virtual monitors can help people be more productive while also increasing privacy. These virtual displays can be used to run Windows tools and applications. The glasses can also immerse people into content such as architecture or other large-scale projects. The virtual monitors displayed by the smart glasses are optimized for Lenovo's ThinkPad laptops and mobile workstations. Source: Lenovo In addition to connecting to PCs, you can tether the ThinkReality A3 smart glasses to select Motorola phones for AR-supported tasks. Lenovo explains that the ThinkVision Reality A3 smart glasses could be used in a number of scenarios, including factory floors, laboratories, retail environments, and hospitality spaces. Lenovo states that Motorola smartphones using Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series processors or better that have DisplayPort capability can work with the ThinkReality A3 smart glasses. The company does not specify the PC requirements for using the AR smart glasses. Source: Lenovo's ThinkReality A3 smart glasses are built to get work done