These VR Glasses Bring An Entire Cinema To Your Eyes

Har Devarukhkar - Sep 11, 2019


These VR Glasses Bring An Entire Cinema To Your Eyes

TCL introduced a prototype for its smart glasses at IFA 2019 in Berlin a couple of days ago. It’ll trick you into thinking you’re sitting in a movie theater.

TCL is a Chinese electronics company that designs, develops, manufactures and sells electronic products such as televisions, mobile phones, refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines and more. A couple of days ago, at IFA 2019 in Berlin, the company introduced a prototype for its smart glasses. Users can play games, watch movies and see content on their phone through this device.

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TCL introduced a prototype for its smart glasses at IFA 2019 in Berlin

Essentially, a wearable display is basically a tinted, polarized pair of sunglasses that block UV rays to protect users' eyes. However, it is still transparent enough to see through. By putting two OLED displays right in front of users’ eyes, this device will trick them into thinking they’re sitting in a movie theater.

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It is basically a pair of tinted, polarized sunglasses

Smart glasses are not a new idea. For instance, Google launched Google Glass in an effort to create a wearable device that can bring users the smartphone experience right before their eyes. It is a head-up display that users can wear when they’re going out. Although Google Glass has been widely known over the years, its camera makes people feel uncomfortable, with the issues surrounding "Glassholes."

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The camera of Google Glass makes people feel uncomfortable

TCL's glasses are pretty different. It is designed to use when you are sitting indoors, not when walking or on a bus. It also doesn't have any cameras, a control pad that built into the frame, or heavy battery, just two OLED displays. These glasses are connected to your smartphone via a USB-C cable.

Here are some specifications of TCL's wearable display prototype:

  • Two micro OLED displays with 1,920x1,080-pixel (Full HD) resolution, one for each eye
  • Polarized plastic lenses with UV resistance to protect your eyes
  • Speakers are integrated into the arms by your ears
  • Voice input to play and pause the video, and more
  • Support for digital assistants, such as Google Assistant and Amazon Echo
  • USB-C cable connection to phone (current)
  • Bluetooth pairing capability (future)

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The speakers of TCL's glasses are integrated into the arms

When you put these glasses on, you will see three panels in virtual reality, one for each possible demo, along with a cursor. You can control this cursor with your head movement. To select an option, you need to hold the cursor there for a moment. Look to the left and hold a moment to go back to the main menu.

You may be worried that when you play games, especially fast-paced racing games, the rapid and constant head movement can make you nauseous. However, according to TCL, you can use your smartphone as a controller and keep your head still.

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Select an option by moving your head, or using the voice assistant

The glasses provide good picture quality. It can play 3D videos as well if your smartphone supports it. Speakers are integrated into the arms to provide good sound.

Although this concept of the wearable display is intriguing, it still has some problems. Because this is just a prototype device, it's heavy, clunky and not very sexy. Connecting to a smartphone via a cable is also very inconvenient, but the company said next year, it will have Bluetooth pairing capability when the new version is launched. This wearable display has been demoed on the new Plex smartphones, but it will also work with any Android smartphone.

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This prototype device still has some problems

In addition, it does not work well in all environments. It only works well if you stare at a plain black wall. It's hard for you to see the image clearly in environments that have bright or variable lighting and backgrounds. Your field of view is also very limited. Controlling the cursor by head movement is quite inconvenient too. You may accidentally select the wrong option when moving your head. It is quite tiring to keep your head still.

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