I tried the smart glasses that can replace your phone – here’s what I learned

On MWC 2023 in Barcelona, ​​Qualcomm was in its element. As one of the largest manufacturers of phone and tablet processors in the world, the San-Diego-based company has its fingers in many cakes at events like this, from the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip that powers Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to a wealth of panels and discussions around WiFi 7 and 6G.

One area of ​​particular interest to me was Qualcomm’s determination to move forward in what they call “XR”—that’s “augmented reality,” an umbrella term for wearable technology for virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. Aside from the fact that the initialism should really be ‘ER’ (although I can understand why Qualcomm would want to avoid that), there were some very impressive XR products at the show with Qualcomm Snapdragon chips inside.

These chips included the recently announced Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1, a purpose-built platform designed to power lighter and more efficient AR wearables, such as smart glasses. Qualcomm was keen to promote its presence in Lenovo’s slick new ThinkReality A3 glasses, which I was lucky enough to test out at the event, and found to be seriously impressive.

Lenovo ThinkReality A3

Lenovo’s ThinkReality A3 can use hand tracking technology thanks to external cameras (Image credit: Lenovo)

The future of augmented reality

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