TCL turned up at IFA this year with a couple of prototype devices that it hopes will inform the future direction of its products. The first was a “wearable display concept” that looks an awful lot like the personal cinema headsets that pop up every 18 months or so. It’s a pair of smart glasses with two OLED displays hovering over your eyes to try and trick you into thinking you’re sat in a cinema.
Unlike Sony, Avegant and Royole’s offerings, TCL has shrunk the technology into a pair of relatively svelte sunglasses with a polarizing filter on top. Sound comes out of speakers embedded into each arm, and the headset connects over USB-C to a compatible (TCL) phone. Rather than this being a device that you only use in the comfort of your home, TCL envisages this as something you could wear on the go, or on a train.
The two displays over your eyes are opaque enough for you to watch a movie in relative comfort, but around it everything is semi-transparent. So, if you’re on a train, and a conductor comes up toward you, you’ll have enough awareness to get your ticket out. Although the person next to you, who might hear the bleed coming from the small speakers, might not be your best friend.