This article was published on January 5, 2022

Wearing TCL’s new smart glasses is like strapping a giant monitor to your face

Your personal screen


Wearing TCL’s new smart glasses is like strapping a giant monitor to your face
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."

Smart glasses are now dime a dozen, but there are very few that you can buy and even fewer that have an attractive use case. TCL’s new NXTWEAR AIR glasses could be one of them.

The most appealing feature of the pair is projecting a 140-inch virtual screen in front of your eyes, to privately watch whatever you like with a movie-theater experience. Think of it as your personal projector you can move around with. However, there are no AR features, so don’t expect any of that trickery.

The company launched the first-gen glasses, called the NXTWEAR G, last year. But they were clunky looking and uncomfortable to wear.  The newest iteration of the device looks like a regular pair of sunglasses and weighs just 75 grams — down from 130 grams of its predecessors. That makes my head feel lighter already.

TCL's last-gen NXTWear G
TCL’s last-gen NXTWear G

Just like the NXTWEAR G, this year’s model will be able to connect to your phone or laptop through USB-C to produce a virtual display “equivalent of watching a 140-inch screen, 4 meters away.” The NXTWEAR Air have two Full HD micro OLED screens with 47 pixels-per-degree resolution to power the experience.

The glasses are powered by a USB-C connection so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery.

You can enjoy content on a 140-inch virtual screen through the TCL NXTWEAR AIR glasses
You can enjoy content on a 140-inch virtual screen through the TCL NXTWEAR AIR glasses

TCL claims that glasses will provide a cinema-like viewing experience. I’m super tempted to get a pair. You can watch videos or play games on your device with the glasses acting as a second screen. I can imagine hooking up a Bluetooth controller to my phone and playing games on a gigantic virtual screen.

You can get the NXTWEAR Air in two exchangeable styles of front lenses sometime in Q1 2022. The company hasn’t yet provided details about the pricing of these glasses. For reference, last year’s glasses were sold for €599 ($676), so we can expect the new pair to be around a similar price range.

While both Facebook/Ray-Ban glasses and Snap Spectacles rely on cameras to make their glasses smart, TCL is creating an additional screen that could be much more useful.

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