By: Nick Gambino
While there are plenty of companies trying to crack the smart glasses angle, XRAI is coming through with a different take. The new XRAI Glass tech will allow people who are deaf or hard of hearing to read subtitles for conversations occurring in real-time. In other words, whatever you say near someone with a pair of glasses running on this software will be transcribed and projected across their lenses for them to read.
They are launching it with Nreal Air AR glasses, and it’ll work when the high-tech specs are paired to your Android phone. Using AI, it’s intended to be a revolutionary step forward in accessibility. The company recently shared the first video on their website of someone using them. It’s quite emotional, so grab some tissues and hit play.
It’s not clear how well they currently work in a loud or chaotic environment. In the video, the women are inside and having a conversation in a relatively controlled environment. If you’re in a crowd with multiple people talking, how does it distinguish between what you want to read and what you don’t? Does it divide multiple conversation threads into segmented parts, so you can distinguish who said what if there are multiple parties in the convo?
“Friend, family, opponent, label different voices however you want,” the XRAI website reads. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I’m guessing the AI will learn regular voices in your life and you can label them accordingly. This might help with differentiating in more familiar settings.
In July, XRAI shared an ad where people were using the glasses in various environments, showing that they at least intend for it to be used anywhere and everywhere. They also laid out multiple use options like at a show, while listening to podcasts, etc.
The glasses themselves are decent in terms of style. They might not be your first choice if you’re shopping for sunglasses, but they are far from ugly. And with the functionality they offer, I think it’s a decent trade-off. Hopefully, if this venture proves successful, they’ll team up with other brands like Ray-Ban, Goodr, and Oakley.
There’s no word yet on when we’ll see an official release of the Nreal Air AR Glasses fitted with XRAI Glass. You can sign up for a public preview in the meantime.