A new player has emerged in the race to develop smart glasses that give consumers mixed and augmented reality experiences.
India’s Jio, part of the Reliance Industries conglomerate, announced a new mixed reality headset at its annual general meeting on Wednesday called Jio Glass.
Kiran Thomas, chairman of Reliance Industries, said that Jio Glass is already working with over 25 applications. The black headset connects to the internet via a cable that must be connected to the owner̵
The executive demoed Jio Glass used to hold a work meeting in a virtual office with two colleagues. One of them appeared as an avatar while the other appeared in 2D form.
Thomas also showed how the technology could be used in an educational situation.
“With Jio Glass, the traditional way of learning geography will now be history,” he said, showing how students and teachers could make virtual visits to the Taj Mahal in India, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt and the Colosseum in Rome.
Jio enters a market that others have failed to crack.
Google Glass, Microsoft HoloLens and Snap Spectacles are without a doubt the three most famous efforts, while Magic Leap has also been working on a device in secret for several years. None of the offers have received mass use.
Reliance Industries is a large, sprawling company owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in Asia. Traditionally a petrochemical company, today it has many subsidiaries including a technology arm company called Jio Platforms.
In recent months, Ambani has sold large parts of Jio platforms to clear Reliance Industries’ debt pile. Facebook invested $ 5.7 billion in April while Google announced a $ 4.5 billion investment on Wednesday. In total, investors have bought over $ 20 billion of shares in Jio Platforms.
“Trust is now really a net debt company well ahead of my goal in March 2021,” Ambani said at the AGM on Wednesday. “We now have an extremely strong balance sheet that will support all of our growing plans.”
He added: “I think it’s time for a truly global digital product and service company to come from India and be among the best in the world.”