Leaked promo videos for a brace of augmented reality glasses from Samsung hint that the much-rumored Apple Glasses aren't the only next-gen wearables worth getting excited about.
Tech leaker WalkingCat (opens in new tab) posted legitimate-looking videos of the so-called Samsung AR Glasses and Glasses Lite, showcasing how the AR glasses could tap into the services and features found in the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
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For example, the AR Glasses Lite are shown working as a floating display for gaming, movie watching and video calls. The video also showed how the glasses could tap into Samsung's DeX interface, which provides a Chrome OS-like experience through compatible Samsung phones when they are connected to an external monitor.
R&D Vision Concept ? https://t.co/JYQmy850K9February 21, 2021
A sunglasses mode, dimming the displays to protect your eyes from bright light, as well as an AR mode used when piloting a drone, also featured in the video, hinting at the glasses capabilities. Also interesting is that the control method is a paired smartwatch, rather than a smartphone or in-line controls.
The second video, titled "Next Wearable Computing," showcased the AR Glasses, which look to be similar to their Lite counterparts but with more powerful tools.
and..... this is the 3D holographic version https://t.co/PXDAHjDNWbFebruary 21, 2021
For example, they can provide an interactive AR workspace and "holo call" video chat feature, whereby the wearer can see a holographic projection of the people they're in a meeting with.
It all looks like a somewhat sci-fi Star Trek-esque concept that’s more advanced than what's currently available for AR, but the concept is still intriguing.
Samsung AR vs. Apple Glasses
While VR headsets are gradually becoming more established for certain applications, particularly gaming, AR has yet to take off in the same way. But if Samsung manages to bring these concepts to life then it could spearhead renewed interest in consumer AR and smart glasses.
We are expecting the Apple Glasses to also be a bit of an AR trailblazer, given Apple's reputation for taking existing tech and refining it to a point that it becomes the new standard for other tech products to follow.
Apple’s arguably not done this for a while. However, the new Mac machines powered by the Apple M1 chip have shown how laptop makers don’t need to rely on Intel or AMD chips anymore.
But, the latest release date rumors around the Apple Glasses suggest we've still got a year or two to wait before they're ready. So there’s scope for Samsung to steal the march on its tech rival.
The first generation of Apple Glasses are thought to run via a paired iPhone, and offer access to notifications and apps. Apple's also said to be working on a full VR headset, complete with speakers, as a standalone product.
It’ll be interesting to see that if Samsung does indeed make the AR Glasses and Glasses Lite, whether it will make all-in-one AR glasses or wearables that require tethering to a smartphone or external hardware. And given these leaked videos appear to be very much concept devices, Samsung's smart glasses could just be the mere seed of an idea and nothing more.
So far, we know little about Samsung's AR ambitions. There was a patent for a head-mounted display from the company back in 2019, plus a real pair of glasses appeared during a wider AR demonstration at CES 2020.
However, if we assume these newly leaked videos are the real thing, it may not be too long until it's ready to announce its first AR devices to the world.