Huawei’s Sleek Smart Glasses Released
In a side event this week during the launch of Huawei’s P30 Pro and P30, the company also unveiled its new Watch GT models along with a pair of new wireless earbuds. The company also touted a new pair of smart glasses which it will produce in partnership with the Korean fashion brand Gentle Monster. These will be Huawei’s first ever smart glasses, a late entry in an industry where its peers are already ahead of the curve.
Gentle Monster is a high-concept Korean luxury eyewear company with a strong presence across Asia so you can be sure that the glasses look quite sleek. Gentle Monster is normally known for its experimental designs and edgy fashion sense with showrooms that normally look like art galleries. The new Huawei smart glasses will not have cameras like other smart glasses so they will look more like regular sunglasses. The new partnership with Gentle Monster emphasizes the fashion aspect more than the technological sophistication aspect in line with the fashion company’s approach which is generally more focused on the aesthetics so the specifications are quite sparse. The sparse technology in the smart glasses means that tech package will practically disappear into the stylish glasses and frames, making look like ordinary eyewear.
However, the glasses still provide users with some fairly sophisticated functionality. The Huawei glasses will be IP67 and water and dust resistant and can be charged wirelessly via the case holding them with is fitted with a 2,200mAh battery. They can also be charged through a USB-C port.
Unlike other smart glasses and head-mounted displays, the Huawei glasses have been built around audio as opposed to visual interaction. The glasses also feature dual mics as well as speakers built into the temples. The smart glasses have been built with voice assistance in mind. Users will be able to answer calls simply by tapping the temple.
Huawei and Gentle Monster add a fashion-forward approach to the wearables market where, ordinarily, functional considerations always trump the aesthetics. Many manufacturers struggle to balance the technology with the form factors and it is a battle many are losing currently. More technology currently means you ending up with bulkier smart glasses that often look garish.
Some of the best smart glasses brands in the market such as ODG currently pack technological marvels inside the frames that enable wearers to have a fully immersive augmented reality experience. The models have been getting smaller and sleeker but the form factors still scream that you are wearing a lot of tech on your face.
The Huawei smart glasses achieve a sleek form factor but being audio-only, they sacrifice a lot of function so they are certainly no comparison for the ODG smart glasses with their crisp visuals. However, Huawei and Gentle Monster are onto a trend that begins with sleek style and then factors in how much tech the design and the market can absorb, a positive step forward for the wearables market. If smart glasses are going to be popular, they will have to be less garish and actually wearable, even to a date or on regular errands. But it is an approach that should be implemented with caution. Intel’s vaunt smart glasses had great design but the frames turned out to be too costly and had simply packed too much technology to appeal to broad masses.
For the AR wearables mass market, Huawei’s audio-only phone-to-face smart glasses may see good prospects and could be a good starting point towards the future of wearables that are sleek and pack just the right amount of technology to appeal to the mainstream market. The smart glasses will likely hit the market this summer.