The Mobile World Congress 2022 has served to see some of the advances that brands have made regarding augmented reality glasses. There have been absences (Meta has finally not appeared publicly with his Ray-Bans), but OPPO has shown the speakers its Air Glass mount presented at the end of last year. We have been able to test it briefly.
Light and interesting, but not inconspicuous
We are not facing an augmented reality viewer as such. The idea that OPPO has had with its Air Glass is to offer an addition of a spectacle frame that is attached to one of its sides and offers data vision in one of our eyes. The information is displayed in text or simple graphics in a single green color, but on a screen that can reach 1,000 nits of brightness, according to OPPO representatives at the congress booth.
You can display various types of data that are synced with an OPPO smartphone: teleprompter, a translator (at the moment from Chinese to English), navigation route steps on maps or audio playback information (which can reproduce through bone transmission). To navigate between all the information you want to see, just slide your finger forward or backward with your finger on the side of the mount. The gesture is simple and very easy to learn, and the speed of the software is enough to make the experience smooth.
What is most appreciated about these OPPO Air Glass is its lightness. The equipment weighs only 30 grams, and even if you have one more lens on top of your glasses, you don’t have the feeling of having something bulky and heavy as it happens with other augmented reality proposals. The attachment of the accessory to the mount is magnetic and it seems to have a good grip, withstanding the turns of my head and some basic movements. Of course, despite its lightness, it is still obvious that you have electronic equipment in your glasses. In other words, on the street you would be the object of stares.
Being short-sighted and not being able to use it with my own glasses, I haven’t been able to fully appreciate the detail of the text on the screen, but it’s big enough that even with diopters I’ve been able to appreciate it. No one should have a problem with this version of OPPO Air Glass if you use it with your own glasses. It is not about small text that we see out of the corner of our eye, but about information in a good size that occupies part of the side of our field of vision.
We can appreciate the usefulness of these glasses, which support the precedent of others such as Google Glass: being able to see information without having to take our phone out of our pocket or raise our wrist to consult our smartwatch. Details like being able to see the routes and a map are interesting, although at the moment we can only use Baidu Maps and OPPO needs to integrate other more universal platforms.
As a whole, we are facing an interesting bet that is pending the path that augmented reality glasses take. Each manufacturer has its vision and proposal but we still have no clear winners, and here OPPO has opted for something simple but can be effective for people looking for basic information directly in your field of vision. We will see if over time this concept improves or changes according to market trends.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism