This article was published on December 14, 2021

Oppo’s monocle-style Air Glass wearable looks fit for a Bond villain

A monocle?


Oppo’s monocle-style Air Glass wearable looks fit for a Bond villain
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

If I were a spy, I’d surely want Oppo‘s new Air Glass in my gadget bag, or rather on my face. No, that’s not a typo, Oppo‘s ‘assisted reality’ headset can be worn only on one eye — kinda like a monocle. But it looks cool nonetheless.

Looks are half of the appeal of the fashionable wearable, with a sleek frame and flowing lines. The whole setup weighs just 30 grams. Oppo’s unit can easily snap to prescription glasses with magnets.

Oppo's Air Glass has a pretty cool design
Oppo’s Air Glass has a pretty cool design

Technology-wise, the lens uses sapphire glass and a Micro-LED panel (capable of achieving brightness up to 3 million nits) to display notifications and contextual information. The display is powered by a coffee-bean-sized “Spark Micro Projector.” To make it easier for you to read the display in daylight, the average brightness of the screen is 1,400 nits.

Internal structure of Oppo's Glass
The internal structure of Oppo’s Glass

Air Glass also has a speaker at the end of the stem placed near your ear so you can take calls.

The Oppo Air Glass has two microphones and a speaker
The Oppo Air Glass has two microphones and a speaker

The company claims the device can show you notes and act as a teleprompter. It at least looks cool in the image below.

Oppo's Glass can act a teleprompter. Pretty cool
Oppo’s Glass can act as a teleprompter. Pretty cool

What’s more, Oppo has worked with Baidu to customize navigation for the Glass, so you can follow directions without looking at your phone or watch.

The Oppo Air Glass will show you Baidu-powered navigation
The Oppo Air Glass will show you Baidu-powered navigation

The Chinese tech firm says you can interact with the glass with touch, voice, head movement, and hand motion (with the Oppo Watch 2). The device will be available in in two frame styles, and in black and white colorways.

This looks like the charging dock for the Glass, but we don't have any info about battery life
This looks like the charging dock for the Glass, but we don’t have any info about battery life

While Oppo’s assisted reality device sounds great, I’m not getting my hopes up until I try this myself, or see experiential videos from users. Sadly, the Air Glass will be available only in China in Q1 2022 to a limited number of users, and we don’t even know the price.

Oppo said it’ll create a community of early adopters to gather feedback, and open up its SDK for developers to make compatible apps.

In comparison to Snap’s “New Spectacles,” Oppo’s glass looks a bit sleeker. Hopefully, more people will be able to get hands on it, unlike Snap’s selected user release.

spectacles-ar-glasses-2
spectacles-ar-glasses-2

Plus, the Oppo Air Glass (30gm) is lighter than the Nreal Light (106gm) — one of just a handful of AR glasses available to consumers right now.

Nreal Light are one of the only AR glasses available in the market
The Nreal Light are one of the only AR glasses available in the market

The device has all the capability of the bygone Google Glasses, including on-the-fly translation and displaying weather information and notifications, and some. But we hope that it doesn’t meet the same fate.

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