I tried smart glasses that can replace a phone – here’s what I found out

On MWC 2023 in Barcelona, ​​Qualcomm was in its element. As one of the largest manufacturers of phone and tablet processors in the world, the San Diego-based company is sticking its fingers in many cakes at events such as the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip powering Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to the wealth of panels and discussions around WiFi 7 AND 6G.

An area of ​​particular interest to me was Qualcomm’s determination to move forward in what it calls “XR” – or “augmented reality”, a generic term for wearable virtual, augmented and mixed reality technology. Aside from the fact that the initialism really should be “ER” (although I understand why Qualcomm would want to avoid that), there were some very impressive XR products at the show with Qualcomm Snapdragon chips.

These chips included the newly announced Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1, a purpose-built platform designed to power lighter and more powerful AR wearables like smart glasses. Qualcomm wanted to promote its presence in the elegant new Lenovo ThinkReality A3 glasses, which I was lucky enough to test at the event and they turned out to be really impressive.

Lenovo ThinkReality A3 can use hand tracking technology thanks to external cameras (Image credit: Lenovo)

The future of augmented reality

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