Google has already tried and failed with the launch of a universal pair of smart glasses. Xiaomi isn’t even trying, presenting the device straight out as a wearable camera.
How about instead of developing a Smart Glasses accessory that goes completely unnoticed, you release a product that “screams” from a great distance as a camera glasses, spy accessory, etc. Well, the folks at Xiaomi have done just that, releasing an accessory that will describe you as the barely teleported Borg character from the Star Trek universe.
So instead of the visor embedded in the lens of the glasses, we have an affixed screen, which you view through a prism that can be described as anything but a discreet, invisible device. Further on, the camera also looks like it’s cut out of the back of a mobile phone, complete with its specific adornment.
The resulting product is an AR/VR device with which you can film on the go, at least as long as you have no problem exposing it to the person in front of you, as if privacy and personal distance were completely unknown notions in the universe you live in.
Based on the idea that stubbornly displaying a photo/video camera, integrated with a not-so-elegant pair of glasses, is not necessarily a taboo subject, Xiaomi engineers simply ignored the reasons why the first generation Google Glass failed before it reached the pockets of ordinary people. Simply put, the product called Xiaomi Mijia doesn’t even try to appear discreet, banking on the idea that the sufficiently flashy presentation will make the new gadget easier to accept in certain situations.
Moving past the not-so-discreet design, the main draw is the less visible, micro OLED display that you can see through the prism affixed above the glasses lens. With a resolution comparable to a smartwatch screen, it renders a minimalist interface optimised for left-right navigation. The pièce de résistance, however, is the large photo module, split between a 50MP main camera and 8MP periscope camera. You can turn to the latter for optical zoom shots, with 5X more than enough for any casual spy’s demands.
Getting to the downsides, the glasses’ bezel only offers room for a 1020 mAh battery, enough for about 1.5 hours of continuous shooting. The camera is assisted with AI technologies, helping to optimize image quality.
Xiaomi promises to ship the new Mijia Glass starting August 3, priced at $370, first to buyers in China who funded the project Kickstarter-style.