Smart glasses haven't quite exploded in popularity just yet, but thanks to the creeping popularity of Meta's Quest 3 headset and Ray Ban Smart Glasses alongside the looming release of Apple's Vision Pro headset, there's more of a spotlight on face-worn smart tech than ever before.
While still in its infancy, smart glasses tech could be the surprise hit of 2024, with brands like XREAL, Rokid, and more all pushing quality devices packed with impressive tech that can make a real difference when it comes to entertainment, productivity, gaming, and every day life.
We're on the scene in Las Vegas to check out the latest tech at this year's CES 2024 showcase. Be sure to tag along on our CES 2024 journey by following Laptop Mag on TikTok, Twitter/X, Instagram, Flipboard, and Facebook for the most up-to-date hands-on impressions and news from the convention floor.
What are 'smart glasses'?
The term 'smart glasses' can be quite vague, and exactly what these devices can do will vary from model to model. In their simplest form, most smart glasses will feature some form of wireless connectivity, typically Bluetooth, to work in tandem with a mic and speakers for hands-free connectivity with a smartphone for taking calls. However, beyond this the possibilities are entirely up in the air.
The Ray Ban Meta Smart Glasses have a focus on image or video capture and audio playback with a new addition that brings Meta AI into the fray. They make for great everyday use with their slim and lightweight frames, and are great for social media users thanks to their easy linkup with Meta's platforms.
Other smart glasses might focus on immersive AR-like displays, like the Rokid Max. These glasses allow you to visualize a floating head-up display that can mirror the picture of another device (like a smartphone or laptop). They're great for immersive media experiences, oftentimes able to simulate the experience of having a display of over 100-inches in size.
The smart glasses found in our roundup push things even further, expanding on the potential of these devices with advanced augmented reality and even AI. Let's dive into the best smart glasses we came across on the CES 2024 show floor.
1. TCL RayNeo X2 Lite AR Glasses
TCL's RayNeo X2 Lite smart glasses had an impressive reveal during CES 2024 and showcased some of the most advanced tech found within this form of wearable to date.
The X2 Lite smart glasses are a greatest-hits compilation of the best features found in smart glasses today. Not only do they have the basics down with a built-in mic array and a solid set of in-frame speakers, but TCL's glasses also feature a MicroLED projection display for AR overlays.
This display is capable of mirroring devices like your phone, games console, or laptop. However, it's also able to work through the onboard Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 chipset and an in-frame 12MP camera to provide AR experiences such at real-time translation with face-tracking and subtitles, and even a heads-up navigation display that can track nearby locations and landmarks as floating icons nearby.
The RayNeo X2 Lite smart glasses even include a virtual AI assistant that you can interact with much like other chatbots, with a 3D avatar appearing through the lenses to answer your questions or queries.
- Learn more about the TCL RayNeo X2 Lite AR glasses
2. XREAL Air 2 Ultra AR Glasses
XREAL's Air 2 AR smart glasses worked like wearable displays that allowed you to visualize floating windows that mirror your devices while providing rich audio playback for immersive media experiences. If you made use of the additional XREAL Beam accessory, you could even experience AR in 3DoF (three degrees of freedom), further expanding on their potential.
At CES 2024, XREAL unveiled the Air 2 Ultra AR smart glasses — a more advanced version of the Air 2 that offers a 6DoF (six degrees of freedom) AR experience within a set of smart glasses barely bigger than the chunky frames of Zuckerberg's Warfarer shades. The Air 2 Ultra is a big step up from the standard Air 2 model, with hand/head tracking and plane recognition all available to recreate the full AR experience with the new dual 3D environment sensors.
It's the most compact version of an AR headset we've seen at its $700 price point, and the surprising sharpness and clarity of its 1080P per eye Micro OLED pictures are impressive feats of technology.
- Learn more about the XREAL Air 2 Ultra AR glasses
3. Solos AirGo 3 Smart Glasses
With a simple tap to the temple, Solos AirGo 3 wearers can interact with OpenAI's ChatGPT through voice prompts and receive rapid replies through the AirGo 3's open-ear speakers. It's a hands-free way of quickly accessing the chatbot for advice or information and can come in handy when your hands full with other things: be it driving, writing, drawing, or crafting.
However, the already impressive AirGo 3s received an upgrade at CES 2024 that sees them harness the power of ChatGPT to provide live translation through a new feature called SolosTranslate. This new feature allows the glasses to act like a universal translator, or personal interpreter, as it converts languages in real-time through text or audio to shatter the language barrier.
The new feature can even be used as part of a group, allowing others to join into translation sessions with a QR code and read or listen along in a language of their own choosing.
- Learn more about the Solos AirGo 3 smart glasses
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