technology

Samsung AR glasses leak – ridiculously massive and upbeat smart glasses

Many companies have tried to use smart wearables in various forms, but getting people to wear better glasses has become the gold standard, and no one has truly found the formula yet. However, like so many others, Samsung is in the process of developing its own pair of smart glasses, and a pair of leaked concept videos showcase a number of ambitious goals that can be achieved when (or if) these glasses are released.

These videos came from WalkingCat (@ _h0x0d_) on Twitter. It should be borne in mind that there are so many concepts of how glasses can be used, not necessarily what current prototypes or future products will be capable of.

The first video includes close-ups of the glasses, which are similar enough to Snapchat glasses to be hard not to imagine. The demos highlight that the goggles can be used for gaming, watching videos, mirroring the Dex display for writing emails, making video calls, and watching FPV while flying a DJI drone. There are also sections that highlight several other non-video features, including smartwatch controls and a dedicated sunglasses mode that tints the lenses for use in bright daylight.

The second video is heading into much more optimistic territory with immersive holographic video calls, AR simulations, and full body gesture recognition. There is also an introductory video that talks about a rather complex text and interaction with it in some office documents. These things seem a lot more inspiring as they are based on possibilities that cannot be possible with glasses alone.

The physical design of the glasses is pretty chunky, and the initial concept videos do show little glass reflectors suspended at eye level, sort of like the prisms used in Google Glass. The model also squeezes part of the right hand to activate the sunglasses mode, but it’s unclear if this is a button or something else. Apart from these details, there is no sign of cameras, sensors, or other types of controls.

Most of the features demonstrated in the first video are not very different from what can be seen in other products and prototypes. Mirroring video from a phone or other source is fairly straightforward, although it can be difficult to achieve correct display when images need to be presented in stereoscopic form, i.e. showing the same thing with both eyes. Likewise, the sunglasses mode is likely achieved with electrochromic glass, which OnePlus (via Oppo) and Vivo have experimented with.

The problems associated with these features can boil down to familiar issues like battery life, performance, and resolution. For example, a video might look good because our brains can adjust to imperfect stereoscopic images when we watch a video, and even writing an email will be fine if the text is large enough; but it becomes much more difficult to read small text if the images are not perfectly aligned.

Several companies are working on smart glasses, some targeting business and industrial use such as Microsoft and Google, while Facebook and Apple are known to be working on consumer-oriented products. Samsung’s concept videos seem to suggest these glasses are for all types of use, or at least that’s how they are sold domestically.

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