During its 43rd Annual General Meeting, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) announced its first smart glasses named JIO Glass. It’s based on Mixed Reality (MR) technology and Augmented Reality (AR). These glasses will be useful for users to attend holographic video calls from their homes. Technically, JIO Glass and its use will be available through a paired phone via wireless and cellular networks. Snapchat’s Snap Spectacles 3, which was recently launched in India, works in the same way. This goes to show that Reliance JIO is expanding its horizons to include next-gen technologies, such as cloud, 5G, and Virtual Reality (VR).
Mukesh Ambani-owned company did not reveal details about the product’s availability or pricing. But they did pitch JIO Glass and its use, including video calling, as a breakthrough in the Indian edutech market.
“JIO’s latest innovation, JIO Glass, is at the cutting edge of technology that provides best-in-class Mixed Reality services to give users a truly meaningful immersive experience,” – Kiran Thomas, President of Reliance Industries Limited
According to Reliance JIO, the new JIO Glass will let students and teachers conduct real-time holographic classes as it’s easier to understand a concept with 3D projections. For others, JIO Glass will be just another way of conducting and attending virtual meetings. But these meetings would become more interactive than usual. This is because the attendees can take part in such conferences using their 3D avatars. The participation will also be possible via the standard 2D video call interface.
During a video conference, the user will be able to see each avatar in front of her eyes. All avatars will be shown in the virtually created environment of a conference room, an office, or any other location. While in this virtual environment, the avatars can make presentations and even share files. For this, it doesn’t matter whether a participant is presently using a 2D or a 3D format.
Weighing 75 grams, JIO Glass will have 25 built-in apps to allow video meetings and online collaboration using Augmented Reality. These 25 applications will include JIO TV Plus, Reliance Digital, JIO Cinema, Jio Saavn, Funny Bunny, JIOCinema, Horse Cart, JIOMeet, to name a few. To power the smart glass, users will need to connect it to a smartphone with Wi-Fi or a cable.
The team of JIO Platforms, partnering with Google, is responsible for developing this marquee product. Not long ago, JIO Platforms had raised more than INR 33 crore from Google. Though it shares several similarities with Google Glass, it’s a lot bulkier than the latter.
People can utilize JIO Glass with multiple buttons, each of which is meant for a separate functionality. But most functions won’t need the use of buttons at all. Instead, the user can operate the smart glass with the help of voice commands.
Apart from the 25 apps mentioned earlier, it will have speakers supporting directional and spatial XR audio. Right above the bridge, between the two glass frames, sits a camera. This camera won’t just click photos; however, it can save the images to the paired smartphone, and upload them to a virtual meeting in real-time. To make video conferencing easier, the smart glass will have two microphones as well.
With schools across the country remaining shut due to the pandemic, edtech companies are investing in virtual classroom solutions. In the virtual demonstrations using JIO Glass, there will be no limit to the number of students attending an online class. Teachers can mark tests online and even take their students on virtual tours of significant places.
Such simulations will make it easier for students to understand complicated topics, making digital learning a step forward. JIO also plans to launch its own online education platform Embibe, which will be integrated with JIO glass.
So far, the adoption of mixed reality and Augmented reality has been limited. The latest JIO Glass and its use in the edutech industry is a step towards the invention of next-generation products.