April 30, 2019
Verizon is teaming with ThirdEye Gen to offer its first official mixed reality smart glasses for 5G. ThirdEye has been awarded two patents for OLED displays and low-latency data streaming. The partnership is ThirdEye’s first with a wireless provider, said company founder Nick Cherukuri, who noted that the “advanced 5G use cases … will bring about a new era of hands-free human interaction.” One example would be an auto mechanic who could scan a “complex motor” and send the image to a remote expert for real-time help.
ZDNet reports that, according to ThirdEye, “its XR MR glasses are the smallest mixed reality smart glasses in the world,” and weigh just six ounces. The X2 Smart Glasses, which will sell for just under $2,000 and are available for pre-order, have “the same field-of-view as a 90-inch screen via two OLED displays.”
Other mixed-reality display companies, such as Nreal, “have been rolling out glasses that can pair with a 5G phone.” The exponentially faster speeds of 5G networks “will enable functions like mobile streaming of 3D video, especially live video.” A two-way 3D communication requires transfer of massive amounts of data, which is where 5G provides a solution. With 5G, smart glasses will also function without Wi-Fi.
One of the “primary early use cases” for mixed reality is to enable “experts to guide service techs in the field by projecting instructions and animations onto the real world via MR glasses.” ZDNet notes that with 5G and such glasses, “it won’t be long before mixed reality is used to view live athletic events on the go.”
“Consider First Responders wearing AR/MR glasses — they’ll be able to travel to a scene and have images fed to the corner of their glasses to help plan rescue actions before they arrive on-site,” explains Verizon. “The glasses can also display live video feeds from drones hovering over the scene as well as street or topographical maps to help them better prepare.”
Using the X2 Smart Glasses over 5G could also enable more interactive gaming experiences and enhanced in-flight entertainment. “Imagine being given a pair of AR glasses preloaded with HD movies when boarding a plane, then after take-off, being able to stare at the ceiling or even look out the window and see your movie presented directly in front of you in a screen size much larger than the seat-installed TV,” adds Verizon.