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Oppo Unveils Its First-Ever Smart Glasses for Chinese Market

Oppo, a tech company, stated on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021, that its first-ever smart eyewear would be available for sale in mainland China in the first quarter of 2022. The eyewear, known as “The Oppo Air Glass”, is a monocle-type device that can display essential information in front of the wearer’s eye. It was unveiled today at Oppo’s annual ‘Inno day’ event, exhibiting the company’s latest advancements and discoveries. The ‘Inno day’ will occur on December 14th and 15th, 2021. The Oppo Air Glass is lightweight smart eyewear intended to let users “get more out of everyday life.”

Feathers inspired the main body of the Air Glass, and the touch bar on the glass was designed to resemble a feather shaft, according to Oppo. The cicada’s wings ( a bug unique to North America) inspired the construction of the monocular waveguide lens.  All of the Air Glass components, including the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100, are housed in the frame where the lens is secured.

The eyewear is also an augmented reality (AR) device that allows users to interact with the device through speech, touch, hand motion, and head movement. Oppo’s Spark Micro Projector, micro-LED, and diffraction optical waveguide display are all included. However, unlike more audacious smart glasses from Google, Microsoft, or Nreal, it lacks a camera to capture a real-world scene. Hence, it is unable to display information related to it.  It can’t additionally display video in front of the user’s eyes.

Weather, Calendar, Health, Teleprompter, Translation, and Navigation are among the apps available on Oppo Air Glass. It also features a translation feature that takes a user’s voice input and translates it into the target language before displaying it in the display for another Air Glass user. The device can translate Mandarin Chinese to English. Support for Mandarin Chinese to Japanese and Korean will be introduced shortly.

Oppo has also collaborated with Baidu on customizing apps such as Baidu Walk & Bike Navigation and Explore Nearby. Users of Air Glass can obtain travel directions and information about neighbouring stores based on their current location.

The glasses come with a one-of-a-kind Spark Micro Projector the size of a coffee bean. It has a CNC metal enclosure with a glass lens module and a microLED with a brightness of 3 million nits. It also comes with a custom optical diffraction waveguide that enables two display modes (16-level grayscale and 256-level grayscale) with brightness levels up to 1600 nits for bright, clear images. The waveguide display uses a tiny projector with Micro LED technology to produce up to 3 million nits of peak brightness. However, Oppo claims the average brightness will be up to 1,400 nits. The device was also created to be “as accessible to as many individuals as possible,” including persons with refractive problems like myopia and hypermetropia.

According to Oppo, the spectacles will come in two styles: a silver half-frame and a black full-frame, both of which will be available in two sizes. The Smart Glass App regulates the Oppo Air Glass on the Oppo Watch 2 and any Oppo smartphone running ColorOS 11 or higher. Touch, speech, hand tracking, and head tracking are all supported, as well as a Smart Glass app on a smartphone running Oppo’s ColorOS 11 or higher.

The Air Glass has a limited set of applications, according to Oppo. According to the company, it may be used for notifications and directions, as well as teleprompting and real-time translation. The display is monochromatic, with either 16 or 256 levels of grayscale depending on the setting, so don’t expect the Air Glass to beam you rich material.

The Air Glasses’ best feature is that it can be operated by swiping the touch bar on the right side of the frame and using hand motions and head shakes. This device has no wires, simply a snap-on attachment connecting Bluetooth to the Oppo Reno 6 Pro phone or the company’s Watch 2. (Currently, Air Glasses do not support other Android or iOS phones.) The Air Glasses will only be available in mainland China in the first quarter of 2022. I wouldn’t rule out a wider international release in the coming years. Pricing details were not available at the time of writing.

Oppo has also unveiled the MariSilicon X imaging NPU, the company’s first proprietary CPU. It’s a 6nm processing unit that integrates an innovative NPU, ISP, and memory architecture to relieve image processing demand on the main CPU. Its main purpose is to increase the quality of photographs and videos while expanding the camera’s feature set. The next-generation Find X series, which will be introduced in the first quarter of  2022, will be the first to use it.

Oppo won’t depend on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s ISP because the MariSilicon X has one. It enables photos with a 20-bit colour depth, a 120-dB dynamic range, and real-time RAW processing in 4K videos. An AI can use the NPU to perform various algorithms for noise reduction, better colour reproduction, HDR, increased detail, and dynamic range, among other things.

Because it supports the separation of the white channel from the RGB, the ISP can fully utilize the capabilities of Oppo’s RGBW sensor. When it comes to AI-related operations, the NPU processor is capable of some serious number crunching. Thanks to dedicated memory, it can perform 18 trillion operations per second (TOPS) efficiently.

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