TCL, known for its smart glasses NxtWear G and other consumer technology products, has announced at CES2022 two new AR smart glasses: one successor and lighter variant to the NxtWear G and one pair still in the conceptual phase. These two devices mark the next iteration and utilization of the waveguide lens technology, while it further cements TCL’s intentions of establishing a presence in the AR market.
Chinese company TCL (Telephone Communications Limited) enters the smart glass sphere with two devices: one coming and the other still in the prototype stage.
The first smart glass is in the conceptual phase, looking more like transparent glasses, branded Leiniao AR.
Overall, TCL aims to replace some of the smartphone’s functions, similar to what smartwatches also propose to accomplish. Stefan Streit, CMO of TCL’s, admits that they are aware of the complications and unknown use cases of smart glasses in general. Similar to the original Google Glass in 2012 and the reception thereof. Stefan says, “We feel like there are still a lot of question marks [with] how this works in this AR world,” continuing to speak with CNET, “and they are not answered yet.”
In essence, marking the reason why the Leiniao AR glasses still is in the prototype phase.
The second pair is TCL NxtWear Air: a lighter, untethered variant of TCL’s current NxtWear G glasses. This iterative upgrade is meant for entertainment and productivity purposes, but in a slimmer, more stylish and lighter body. A form factor and comfort only achieved by the waveguide lens design, which experienced recent mass production supply, enabling the surge of thin and light AR glasses seen in the market today.
The NxtWear Air will be positioned under the two slogans of “Pocket Cinema,” and “Personal Style”, going up against Nreal Air and Oppo Air. While also offering use cases such as dialling into video meetings, turn-by-turn directions superimposed on your surroundings, quickly taking and sharing photos, showing multiple virtual displays and windows for work and even starting your car.
As for now, the two TCL glasses have no release date. But TCL hopes to showcase working versions by Mobile World Congress in February this year.
Chinese technology conglomerate TCL, announced at this year’s CES that they are further tinkering with thin and light AR glasses. Namely, one successor to its Nxt Wear G product and a concept glass with limited announcements. As the CMO of TCL acknowledges, the use cases and previous privacy issues with smart glasses may still pose a challenge for consumers.
Overall a rise in AR glasses enabled by lower production costs of the advanced waveguide lens design is bringing a surge in releases of AR smart glasses of which TCL is now a part of.
We will see how the two smart glasses will be at the Mobile World Congress in February this year and follow how TCL will position their smart glasses as the competition stiffens.