The televisions you wear on your face have arrived, but they are not ready yet
By putting screens in front of your eyes to mimic the experience of a massive private screen, TCL’s $ 899 NXTWEAR G glasses have great sci-fi potential. But will they launch a new category of portable TVs or will they be relegated to being a forgettable gimmick?
Unlike the smart glasses that were all the rage a few years ago, and which were almost abandoned because they required technology and a willingness to forego privacy that did not yet exist, the NXTWEAR G does not have cameras or other intelligence. It’s a display that you wear like glasses, which can display the content of your attached smartphone, tablet, or laptop, giving you the equivalent of watching a 140-inch (357 cm) TV.
I must admit that when I first heard about them, I imagined that they were both better and worse than they really are. Using them, it is quite clear that they are first generation technology; they’re a little clunky than they should be, and the fit isn’t as good as it could be, but the potential is huge.
Unlike virtual reality glasses, you are not isolated from the rest of the world. Instead, you can see a significant part of the world around you, particularly under your glasses. They take up about three-fifths of my field of view, which means they’re useful as a second compact display when working with a laptop on the couch.
I was hoping I could look around and have multiple screens while using them, but again, that’s a VR feature. Having the image where it is on the glasses means you can be comfortable at whatever odd angle you want and have the screen stay in the perfect spot. That would be great for someone who has trouble keeping their head still (such as Parkinson’s or a similar disease), or someone recovering from surgery, or if they are looking at something in bed and are particular about their comfortable angles.
Having to have the glasses connected to a relatively short one meter long USB-C cable reduces their potential uses, and connecting to something like an iPhone or Xbox that doesn’t natively support video over USB-C is problematic. But the more I use them, the more I wish I had them when I used to spend all my time on long-haul flights. They would also be ideal for watching TV in bed while your partner sleeps without a disturbing light, or for having a big screen in a small office or while on the go.
The glasses are in Full HD resolution, but can be displayed from 4K sources and support 3D content, if you can find it. They also have built-in stereo speakers.
Of course, they are not perfect. A 140-inch screen sounds a lot bigger and more fascinating than it actually is (it’s more like you’re sitting a reasonable distance from a big screen), and having to rely on the controls of whatever device you’re using means you can limit yourself. with the increase and navigation.