Verizon partners on smallest mixed reality glasses for 5G

Enterprise mixed reality glasses are going to get a big boost from 5G speed.

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Verizon is partnering with under-the-radar mixed reality hardware company ThirdEye Gen. The partnership will make ThirdEye Gen Verizon's first official smart glasses partner for 5G mobile edge computing.

ThirdEye is having a moment after being granted two technology patents for its OLED displays and low-latency data streaming architecture.

"It's a very exciting time for the company right now, announcing our first major partnership with a leading wireless provider and being granted two patents we've been working hard on for the past five years," said Nick Cherukuri, Founder of ThirdEye Gen. "We are honored to be the first MR glasses company to partner with Verizon to develop advanced 5G use cases that will bring about a new era of hands-free human interaction."

The ongoing 5G rollout promises to unlock key functionality for mixed reality. Companies like Nreal, another MR hardware company, have been rolling out glasses that can pair with a 5G phone. Massively increased speeds will enable functions like mobile streaming of 3D video, especially live video. It won't be long before mixed reality is used to view live athletic events on the go, for instance.

On the enterprise side, the increased speeds of 5G are critical for several applications, including connecting field service techs with experts back at headquarters. One of the primary early use cases for MR is enabling experts to guide service techs in the field by projecting instructions and animations onto the real world via MR glasses. That two-way 3D feed requires transferring a lot of data, which is why 5G could be a game changer.

The new bandwidth rollout means smart glasses will soon work where there's no wifi. A ThirdGen rep illustrated one possible use case in which auto mechanics can scan objects such as a complex motor with the' built-in camera and send the image to a remote expert for real-time help via live audio and video guidance. 

ThirdEye claims its XR MR glasses are the smallest mixed reality smart glasses in the world. At just 6 oz, the X2 has the same field-of-view as a 90" screen via two OLED displays.

The glasses will retail for just under $2000 and are available now for preorder.