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TCL has a screen ready for every version of reality

TCL has a screen ready for every version of reality


Augmented, virtual, mixed — however you view reality, the display maker wants to put a screen in front of your eyeballs.

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VR headset rendering on black background with neon purple and blue light.
TCL’s NXTWear V headset concept is just one way the company hopes to put screens on your face.
Image: TCL

TCL’s displays are in TVs, smartphones, and maybe in the near future, the metaverse, too. At least, the company wants to make the screen that gets you there. At CES 2023, the company is announcing its latest experiments with wearable displays, including a VR headset and mixed reality glasses. Plus, its personal display glasses, which have only been available in limited markets, are now heading for the US. It’s kind of a “cover-all-your-bases” strategy for whatever the future of display technology looks like.

The company’s NXTWear S glasses are the latest version of its wearable display — kind of like a TV contained in a pair of (sort of) ordinary-looking glasses. They aren’t AR or VR glasses; they plug into a device like your phone or laptop and mirror content onto what looks like a massive 130-inch screen.

Two people on a couch playing a video game with a projected screen in front of them.
If you don’t mind looking like a dork, the NXTWear S glasses can put a huge screen in front of your eyes.
Image: TCL

The NXTWear S glasses are coming to the US for the first time sometime this quarter for $399. They’ll likely make it here before Lenovo’s very similar Glasses T1, if those are destined for the US at all.

For a different view of the future, the RayNeo X2 glasses are designed for augmented reality. They use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 platform and a full-color Micro LED optical waveguide display to show heads-up information like navigation and language translation in the wearer’s field of view. With up to 1,000 nits of brightness, TCL says they’re suitable for indoor and outdoor use. The company plans to make them available to developers early this year, with a commercial launch “later,” according to today’s press release.

Rendering of thick glasses on a white background.
The RayNeo X2 glasses provide heads-up information with a full-color display.
Image: TCL

The company’s NXTWear V headset is a bit further out, still in concept form. It offers a 108-degree field of view with a 1512ppi pixel density. TCL says it weighs just 236 grams, which is less than half the weight of the Oculus Quest 2. That’s not really apples to apples since the Quest 2 is a commercially available product and the NXTWear V, well, isn’t, but it says something about what TCL has in mind for its concept. If VR is going to truly go mainstream, then there will certainly be a place for lighter, more accessible VR headsets. And if it doesn’t go mainstream, then TCL still has a display for your face.