Google Glass crashed and burn, costing Google tens of millions of dollars. Here’s why the OPPO Air Glass 3 which just launched at MWC 2024 probably won’t suffer a similar fate

TL;DR: OPPO Air Glass 3 Unveiled 🕶️🚀

  • Innovative Display 🌈: Full-color lens with real-time info display.
  • Smart AI 🧠: AndesGPT voice assistant for text, images, video, and audio interpretation.
  • Light & Clear 🪶: Weighs 50g, over 1,000 nits brightness, no rainbow effects.
  • Durable & Comfortable 💪: Magnesium-lithium alloy, customizable lenses.
  • Versatile Use 🎵📞📸: Music, calls, browsing, and more; future updates for added functions.
  • Seamless Integration 📲: Works with OPPO phones (Color OS 13+).

There doesn’t seem to be much of an appetite for smart glasses, even Apple’s Vision Pro hasn’t really caught on as many expected. And yet, companies like OPPO, with its newly debuted Air Glass 3 smart glasses, are still pouring R&D money into the concept, hoping that consumers will eventually bite.

Me? I’m 100% NOT sold on the concept. But even I have to admit that the OPPO Air Glass 3, at least on paper, seem like a way more useful product that both Apple Vision Pro and Google Glass. And yes, this is OPPO’s THIRD version of its smart spectacles – guess I missed the first the two!?

OPPO Air Glass 3: What’s New?

The Air Glass 3 features a full-color micro-LED lens display to project graphics and text directly into the user’s field of vision. This allows the glasses to display messages, notifications, directions and more without obstructing sight.

Powering the Air Glass 3’s abilities is OPPO’s proprietary artificial intelligence, AndesGPT. It can understand spoken commands, interpret visual data, and respond via voice feedback through the device’s built-in speakers. This enables users to get assistance hands-free in complex scenarios.

Weighing just 50g, the Air Glass 3 frame is crafted from magnesium-lithium alloy with nylon temples for durability and comfort. The waveguide lens technology eliminates rainbow effects for crisp, high-quality visuals readable even in sunlight.

Additional capabilities include music playback control, voice calls, image browsing, and health and fitness tracking. Updates will add functions like teleprompting, navigation, translations and more.

The Air Glass 3 seamlessly connects with OPPO phones running ColorOS 13 or later. This combines the power of the smartphone with the convenience of the smart glasses.

While its predecessors were only concept devices, OPPO plans to make the AI-driven Air Glass 3 available to consumers in the near future. Pricing and exact launch dates are yet to be revealed.

Does It Solve The “So-What” Problem?

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What is the so-what problem? It is something that I came up with to assess new product types and formats. Just because a company CAN do something, like Apple Vision Pro or put displays inside glasses, doesn’t mean that they should. Any new product has to solve a problem, scratch an itch, or make life easier.

If it does all of these things, great. If it doesn’t – like Apple Vision Pro, which most are still having trouble understanding – then it becomes a “so what” product. Yes, you can create new and fancy stuff. But, so what? If it doesn’t solve a real, tangible problem then who cares?

I haven’t tested the Air Glass 3 but I have used smart glasses before, including the ill-fated Google Glass, and – in my humble opinion – they’re the very essence of a “so what” product. Ditto Apple’s Vision Pro.

They’re not really as useful or practical as a phone (or even a tablet), the battery life is always terrible, and the practical uses and applications, while novel at first, are no better than what you get from a quick glance at your phone.

While tech companies are constantly searching for the next revolutionary device, I question if the smartphone, despite its flaws, might simply remain king. Despite the efforts of giants like Apple and Google, no compelling alternative has emerged. So, for now, I’ll hold onto my trusty phone and stick with my contact lenses.

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