Augmented reality glasses with AI voice assistant

The Oppo Air Glass 3 is a prototype set of augmented reality (AR) glasses with a voice assistant.


BARCELONA – Oppo on Monday unveiled a prototype of augmented reality (AR) glasses with a voice assistant, highlighting how the electronics giants are trying to infuse artificial intelligence into their products to stand out.

Oppo, a Chinese company and one of the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world, announced the Oppo Air Glass 3 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

They look like a regular pair of glasses, with Oppo trying to find a design that can be worn every day as a companion to a smartphone. Because they are AR glasses, users can see digital content superimposed on the real-world view they see in front of them. This could be information such as a message or perhaps a navigation map.

Air Glass 3 must be connected to an Oppo smartphone. Users can control the glasses with touch sensors on the sides of the frame.

Oppo said the latest AR glasses are equipped with a voice assistant powered by the Chinese tech giant’s own large language model (LLM) called AndesGPT. LLMs are AI models trained on massive amounts of data and are the basis of many of the chatbots, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, that have exploded in popularity over the past year and a half.

The voice assistant is currently only available in China, Oppo said in a press release. The chatbot is able to “perform information searches and conduct conversations to help users with tasks such as travel planning,” Oppo said.

This year, electronics manufacturers have been talking about how AI features have been put into their products amid an explosion in popularity and hype surrounding the technology. Oppo is one of many tech firms in China that has developed its own LLM, among others Ali Baba and Baidu.

Meanwhile, other smartphone makers outside of China are relying on their own AI models in an attempt to deliver new device experiences and stand out in a crowded sea of ​​similar phones.

Virtual reality and augmented reality have been talked about by electronics manufacturers for several years, but haven’t grown in popularity like many thought. Tech firms have taken different approaches. An apple this year released the $3,500 Vision Pro, a large but highly advanced AR headset. Meta through its headset, Quest is also pursuing the virtual reality market.

But there are many companies that believe that lightweight glasses will be the future, as they will allow people to wear them every day in a fashionable way. Chinese AR firm Xreal, which is backed by Alibaba, is one such company, along with Oppo, which has been investing in augmented reality for several years.

Oppo said in a press release that it believes the glasses are “a suitable hardware carrier for AI due to their natural features such as visual and voice interactions to ultimately become the best companions for smartphones in more scenarios.” The glasses weigh only 50 grams.

Since the glasses are only a prototype, it’s unclear if Oppo plans to commercialize them. Oppo’s previous Air Glass 2 was not sold to the public.

But Oppo is trying to show its technological prowess in a market it thinks could be big in the future. Market research company IDC predicts just 500,000 shipments of AR headsets in 2023, but believes this could grow to 6.8 million in 2027.

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