We are in 2022 and augmented reality glasses are still scary

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Soon It will be ten years since Google officially announced its Glass. Many of us think that they would be a turning point in our lives, especially when by 2015 at the latest they managed to improve their appearance to make them less intimidating. By 2020 we surely assumed that we would have very light and versatile glasses accompanying us in our day to day.

How naive we were.

Ten years after that dream of Google that turned into a nightmare that never ends -they never achieved a commercial launch or a real improvement in their appearance, but three months ago they were still determined to achieve it-, the MWC 2022 It has become populated again, like a few years ago, with proposals from various manufacturers around augmented reality glasses.

The metaverse has flooded the MWC 2022 but (for now) it is nothing more than a bad copy of Second Life

thickness and intimidation

Oppo presented its Air Glass: perfectly normal and discreet glasses on which a huge monocle with a giant built-in temple is superimposed. A set that we could summarize as extremely striking and remarkable.

The technology and its miniaturization are not ready for the key step for augmented reality: creating products that are not intimidating to those who cross our path.

Another neighboring Cantonese manufacturer of Oppo, TCL, also launched its proposal, the NXTWear Air, meritorious with the use of microOLED, but with very thick temples and a mirror system that widens the frame in all its possible parts. The result is glasses that, like Oppo’s, look more like a prototype than a final product.

Neither TCL nor Oppo have made a bad product as such, but surely they have done what they could with the technology available to them at the time they launched it. It is not always negative to be impatient, especially if you have a financial cushion to support it. For years, Samsung has been too early in certain product categories — smart watches, curved TVs, foldable phones — and that has led to other scenarios later — much better finished watches with good sales figures, two generations of phones with the curved edges, ever-better-finished flip phones.

We are in 2022 and the proposals around augmented reality glasses still do not comply with a fundamental principle that watches took very little time to solve: perceive yourself as just another accessory, not as a very thick intrusive accessory that intimidates others.

"We want to be able to compare ourselves with Apple".  Interview with David Sanmartín, co-founder of Nothing

Google Glass tried to sell itself as a sci-fi gadget at our fingertips, and at least in its early stages it never went beyond being a neon sign on our forehead with the word “geek” that scared the rest beyond a curious approximation. initial. Something that did not help it to transcend its initial purpose of marketing to developers. The insistence of medium or small actors in offering their versions is praiseworthy from the point of view of someone who expects someone to hit the target, but winning at darts is a matter of aim, not insistence, and that is usually reserved for the big.

Neither Apple nor Samsung have taken steps in this direction. Apple is more predictable, it is not usually the first to reach the product ranges, but to wait for the technologies that support them to mature and become more viable to achieve massive sales. Samsung, on the other hand, does have that starter spirit. For tactical conviction and for its condition as a seller of components to other manufacturers, not only of final products. But it hasn’t shown anything either.. She had a short-lived run with virtual reality in 2014, achieved the mother of all photos in 2016, and never appeared around again. Her proposal was not bad at all, but the sales did not accompany it. In the augmented, at the moment, she has not intervened.

Mark Zuckerberg appearing at the Samsung presentation at MWC 2016 with all attendees oblivious to his arrival for wearing a virtual reality headset.

Mark Zuckerberg appearing at the Samsung presentation at MWC 2016 with all attendees oblivious to his arrival for wearing a virtual reality headset.

The Google Glass ended up being entrusted to Tony Fadell, father of the iPod and investor in companies such as Nothing, the perfect context for when it is necessary to prioritize design.

The Mobile of 2022 ends and we continue in the most usual, almost tautological as far as augmented reality glasses are concerned: a lot of travel and few panniers.

Soon It will be ten years since Google officially announced its Glass. Many of us think that they would be…

Soon It will be ten years since Google officially announced its Glass. Many of us think that they would be…

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