Augmented Reality glasses are all the rage, or at least they’re picking up in steam after a few years in limbo following the reveal of Google Glass. TCL aren’t buying into the trend though, with the renowned consumer electronics brand instead creating the TCL NXTWEAR G Glasses – essentially wearable displays that give you a 140-inch TV whenever you want, wherever you want.
If you wanted to be that guy who wears sunnies in a nightclub, for example, you could lock yourself into a private cinema for your Netflix binge and no one would be the wiser.
Although their set to arrive in Australia this July, the stupidly named TCL NXTWEAR G Glasses only appeared as an ambitious promise at CES (the preeminent Consumer Electronics Show) earlier this year. It seems feedback has been so encouraging that TCL are prioritising the smart sunglasses as one of their biggest releases of the year.
While they aren’t exactly a pair of slick Tom Ford sunglasses, and won’t give you many options when it comes to brushing up on your style, the frames have apparently been carefully designed for comfort and long-term use. That already puts them leagues ahead of similar smart sunglasses that have hit the market in previous years.
TCL has engineered them as close to a normal pair of sunnies as possible so they sit flush at a comfortable angle on your face, and avoid fatigue with soft-touch nylon and silica gel surrounding the metal frames. Importantly, they aren’t bulky, nor do they look like a pair of mutated Oakley’s unlike some of the music-playing smart glasses audio companies have put out in the past.
TCL also seem to be pushing this towards the enterprise market, claiming that the NXTWEAR G Glasses can also be used a potential productivity tool – although Lenovo, with their 5-display A3 smartglasses probably have them beat in that regard. It’s sounding like they’d be much better suited to getting to and from work, rather than in the office.
The glasses work by combining two 1080p Sony micro OLED displays with 60Hz refresh rates, resulting in a 140-inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. While wearing the glasses, your eyes will perceive the two separate displays as one enormous 140-inch screen which TCL claim should “sit” roughly 4 metres in front of your face.
There are also stereo speakers, motion and proximity sensors, and a lens adapter built in, to help make the experience much more immersive and feel like a dark, private cinema that’s for you and you only. But do note that TCL claim an “open-fit design” for the glasses, which will leave a bit of a gap at your peripherals, so you aren’t blocking out your surrounds entirely. Consider this design choice the ‘ambient mode’ of TV glasses.
The TCL Wearable Display takes a plug-and-play approach, working in tandem with your smartphone to transform its display into your personal viewing station. Shipping with the pair of sunnies will be a long USB Type-C which attaches to the end of the right temple tip of the glasses, and to your phone. This means that the glasses are fully powered by your phone as opposed to their own battery, helping avoid a chunky design and also skirting any frustrations during long-haul flights.
TCL claim compatibility with over 100 of the best smartphones, as well as laptops and hybrid devices. They haven’t actually released a list of compatible devices, nor have they even bothered telling us the retail price, but it’s likely they will once this bad boy hits the local market in July.