Nreal captured plenty of attention with the January reveal of its smartphone-tethered Light AR glasses for consumers, and now Lenovo has revealed a similarly small alternative targeted at PC business users. While these glasses won’t be confused with sunglasses, the Lenovo AR Concept Glasses are small enough to carry anywhere and wear — a bit awkwardly — in public, where the company expects they’ll help workers access virtual workspaces from the road.
The goal, Lenovo explains, is to use AR to give a user visual privacy while working in a public space, as well as the option to view multiple screens at once. Rather than trying to create an entirely new platform or set of apps, the company wants PC users to be able to access the work, social media, and game software they already own, but within the glasses as needed.
Lenovo hasn’t disclosed the full specs for the glasses yet, but they appear to include three front-facing cameras, support for prescription lenses, and a wire to connect to a laptop. In a video, Lenovo shows them working with a ninth-generation Intel Core i7- and GeForce GTX-powered PC; the minimum specs are not yet clear.
The company’s approach may well be prescient. Rivals such as Magic Leap and Microsoft have attempted to develop entirely new platforms around their AR headsets, requiring the purchase and actual wearing of new computing hardware to experience the benefits of augmented reality. While companies such as Nreal, Qualcomm, and Apple have seemingly focused on smartphone-tethered solutions that might be used everywhere — and require full-room mapping to prevent accidents — Lenovo’s approach would narrow the scope of user movement to a chair, and focus largely on simpler use cases.
So far, there’s no pricing or release date for the headset, which is being shown this week at Lenovo’s Beijing edition of Tech World. The company has previously marketed Star Wars-themed AR solutions for kids and Mirage Solo VR headsets that have recently been used for pediatric medical applications.