JioGlass first look: This made-in-India gadget expands your phone screen to 100 inches | Technology News

18/04/2024

This year’s Indian Mobile Congress was a telecom-ridden affair and it featured perhaps the largest Jio booth I’ve ever seen at an exhibition. Among the various demos at the booth also sat the JioGlass, which is easily one of the exciting products of the year from an Indian company in my opinion. This is a pair of smart glasses that connects to your smartphone and converts the content from it into a 100-inch virtual screen.

The JioGlass is a product of Tesseract, a deep-tech startup that was acquired by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) in 2019. Tesseract specializes in developing Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology for various products such as cameras, headsets , and smart glasses. The JioGlass is their flagship product and is proudly made in India to support the ‘Make in India’ vision.


Jioglass Straight out of a sci-fi movie. (Image: Zohaib Ahmed/The Indian Express)

The first thing that caught my eye about the JioGlass was how futuristic it looked. The glasses weigh only 69 grams and have a sleek metallic gray frame with two lenses. They look like something out of a sci-fi movie, and I bet you could rock them even outside your home without getting weird stares. Thanks to the featherweight design, comfort wasn’t a problem either and I’m sure they’d feel natural even during extended sessions.

The lenses can switch between AR and VR modes by attaching or detaching a removable flap that hides your eyes behind a cool chrome finish. When the flap is on, the glasses block out the outside world and immerse you in the content you are watching. When the flap is off, the glasses let you see the world around you, but with an augmented reality overlay. Unfortunately, I couldn’t test the AR mode as it was disabled on these pre-launch units.

Jioglass The slit for the eyes is small but gets the job done. (Image: Zohaib Ahmed/The Indian Express)

But even without the AR mode, I was amazed by the VR mode. It was incredible to see such a small device create the illusion of a large virtual screen. The JioGlass comes with a 1080p display for each eye, which translates to a 100-inch virtual screen. The clarity could have been better, but it was still impressive.

Festive offers

The glasses also have two speakers on the sides that sit on top of the ears. Support for spatial audio is also present to create a realistic sound environment. However, I was not very impressed by the audio quality, as the speakers sounded tinny and muffled. I think it would be much better to use earbuds with these.

The glasses have to be connected to a smartphone via a Type-C cable, which also acts as a power source. The cable was a bit annoying especially since you can’t see it when in VR mode, but I guess you’ll get used to it eventually. On the bright side, there is no bulky battery pack to lug around.

Jioglass The USB-C cable can be inserted into one of the temples. At the event, the glasses were connected to a OnePlus device. (Image: Zohaib Ahmed/The Indian Express)

The smartphone can also be used as a virtual controller for navigating the interface and selecting content. You can access hundreds of XR apps tailored to different interests and preferences from the JioImmerse XR Store app on your phone.

You can also stream your favorite movies, shows, and sports on various platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hotstar. You can even connect your gaming consoles or PCs to the glasses and enjoy immersive gaming on a big screen. Of course, I couldn’t try these features due to my limited time with the glasses, but they sound very promising.

The JioGlass is expected to launch later this year, with a wireless version planned for the future, although the price and availability are yet to be officially announced.


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