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Xiaomi Launches AR Glasses Ahead of Apple’s Rumored Headset

The company has kicked off the AR race with a wireless, hi-res headset.
Xiaomi Launches AR Glasses Ahead of Apple’s Rumored Headset

Shortly after launching a new smartphone flagship, Xiaomi has secured an early start in the upcoming augmented/mixed reality headset race.

On Monday, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the company announced the Xiaomi Wireless AR Glass Discovery Edition. It's the first augmented reality headset from Xiaomi, and it sits somewhere between Ray-Ban's smart glasses and the rumored, upcoming high-tech mixed reality headset from Apple.

Xiaomi's AR glasses have a pair of MicroOLED displays which Xiaomi claims are a "retina-level" display with an "industry leading" pixel per degree density of 58. They're powered by a Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 chip, and come with gesture control, meaning you'll be able to operate them by waving your fingers in front of your face.

Xiaomi shared a couple of examples of how this might work in real-life usage. For examples, users should be able to select and open apps, swipe through pages, and exit apps without using a smartphone (though they will also be able to pair a smartphone and use it to control the glasses instead of relying on gestures).

Usage examples including watching TikTok and YouTube videos (both apps will be able to optimize the display area of the glasses, which should turn them into sort of a portable cinema), as well as control smart home devices.

Despite being a fairly high-tech product, Xiaomi's glasses still manage to look like regular glasses, but just barely. Thanks to a magnesium-lithium alloy structure, and the use of carbon fiber, they weigh 128 grams, which isn't exactly light for a pair of glasses (for comparison, Ray-Ban's Stories weigh 49 grams). Judging from promo pictures, they're quite big on the face, too, though still way smaller than most VR headsets.

Xiaomi's AR Glasses require a Xiaomi 13 or another Snapdragon Spaces ready device.

Notably, using Xiaomi's AR glasses will require pairing them with either a Xiaomi 13 phone or another Snapdragon Spaces-ready device.

An important keyword in Xiaomi's AR glasses announcement is "wireless." Apple's rumored, upcoming mixed reality glasses will reportedly be tethered to an external battery, and the first iterations will probably be quite large and heavy. In its press release, Xiaomi mentioned a "self-developed silicon oxygen anode battery," but didn't say anything about battery life.

The glasses being labeled "Discovery Edition," they probably won't be widely available, at least at first. Xiaomi didn't share any details on availability and price.

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