Rokid Air AR Glasses with Voice Controlled AI is About to Ship

By Arthur Berman
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The first points to know about the Rokid Air AR glasses are that they are intended to be tethered to a device (think smartphone) and that their function is to replicate the imagery presented on the device. Part of the thinking that led to the development of such a product was the desire to make the imagery larger and, thus, interaction with the content easier for the user.

To those unfamiliar with the company, Rokid Inc. was established in 2014 and has offices in San Carlos, CA, Hangzhou, China and Shenzhen, China. The company specializes in the research and product development of mixed reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and robotics. The product vision of the company is to leverage voice and vision AI technologies to create a smart assistant.

The figure below illustrates the Rokid Air . A video appended to the end of this article presents some possible uses for the glasses.

RokidThe Rokid Air AR glasses.

The glasses are compatible with a wide variety of devices including Android and IOS smartphones, desktop computers and laptops, PS4, Xbox and Switch . In conjunction with all of these devices, the glasses are ‘plug and play’ for apps, videos and games,. Also, in all cases, the display screen of the glasses is completely invisible to others so the user can view content in total privacy.

The optics system within the glasses is based on what is called a BirdBath optical engine. Such optics are quite interesting and there several articles available on-line that do a fine job of explaining how such optics work. One such article can be found here.

Specifications for the Rokid Air include the following:

  • 4K resolution: 1920 x 1080 x 2
  • 75 Hz refresh rate
  • Brightness up to 1800 nits
  • Contrast ratio 100,000:1
  • 120 inch display
  • Weight: 85 grams
  • Enhanced nine axis inertial sensor module, magnetometer and proximity sensor
  • 43 degree field of view
  • Hybrid digital/analog directional speaker x 2
  • Noise canceling microphone x 2
  • Available in two colors: ruby red and starry gray.

By turning the focus adjustment knobs, nearsighted users (those with myopia of -5.00 D or less) can achieve perfect vision . It should not be necessary for users to wear prescription lenses or contacts.

The Rokid Air glasses do not need to be charged . The device to which the glasses are tethered supplies the power .

The use has two modes by which they can interact with the glasses:

  • Voice control: With noise canceling microphone and voice recognition technology, users can simply speak voice commands to manage apps and control playback of media. Commands and responses are rapid, without the need to wait for a wake word. Off line voice commands such as play video, open app, brightness up/down and volume up/down help the user stay hands free.
  • Touchpad: After connecting with the Rokid Air, the user’s smartphone can take on the function of a touchpad. Several of the possible inputs to the touchpad include swipe, scroll, swipe up and slide. Given this means of control, it is unnecessary for the user to purchase extra controllers.

Rokid Air supports two usage modes:

  • Screen projection: The user can see on their Rokid Air glasses the same imagery that is presented on the display in their device.
  • Launcher mode: After instillation of the Rokid Air app on the user’s smartphone, it becomes possible to see all the default contents from 3rd parties.

Rokid has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the glasses project. The campaign can be found here. At the time this article is written, $454,253 has been pledged against a goal of $20,000 by 1,216 backers . In fact, the $20,000 goal was achieved in under an hour meaning that this project will fund on August 12. It is worth noting that a goal of raising $20,000 is not a lot money for a hardware-based Kickstarter campaign. It would seem, therefore, that Rokid is using the campaign more for the purposes of promotion rather than financing.

The Rokid Air is planned to sell for $499 but, at the moment, Super Early Bird pricing of $319 is available on the Kickstarter webpage. Also on the Kickstarter page is an offer of $339 Early Bird pricing which has a much larger allocation of inventory . The estimated delivery date for the Rokid Air AR glasses is currently in November. – Arthur Berman