Oppo is credited with various smartphone innovations, especially in the cameras and fast charging departments, and the list continues to grow every year. Earlier today, the company hosted the first day of the two-day Oppo Inno Day 2021 event, where it showcased its custom “MariSilicon X” Neural Processing Unit (NPU) and teased two flagship phones to launch next year, including the Find N foldable and the Find X 2022. It also launched its monocle-style smart glass, the Oppo Air Glass, for augmented reality (AR) applications.
The MariSilicon X NPU will debut on the Oppo Find X 2022, while the Air Glass will go on sale in China in the first quarter of next year. Pricing has yet to be revealed, but Oppo has shared a lot of details about the products to help set our expectations. Here’s everything that was announced on the first day of the Oppo Inno Day 2021 event.
Oppo Air glass
The monocle-style Oppo Air Glass is the company’s first commercial smart glass. Emphasizing the “commercial” is relevant here because the company has been showcasing its pairs of smart glasses for the past two years of its INNO Day events, but both have only been available for developers to build AR applications.
True to its name, the Air Glass features a no-load design and weighs just 30 grams. It features a detachable arm that magnetically attaches to the frame, and this design should allow users to add prescription lenses. Oppo currently offers half-frame and full-frame options, but you won’t be able to wear it over just any pair of glasses, though we may see the company introduce more designs in the future. Air Glass uses transparent sapphire glass with a series of microLEDs on the screen. It claims that the small screen can be as bright as 3 million nits and therefore should be useful for outdoor viewing.
The Oppo Air Glass features an internal microprojector that can be used to project an image onto an external surface. It uses a five-piece lens unit housed inside a metal tube for better heat dissipation.
The smart glass runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform, which is seen on various Wear OS smartwatches. The chipset also brings connectivity features like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS to the smart glass, while the detachable arm features a speaker and microphone.
The user interface can be controlled using the touch bar on the side and it also supports gestures like nod or nod to view and clear notifications. In addition to head and touch movements, users can also control the content of the Air Glass using hand or voice gestures.
The Oppo Air Glass is meant to be an extension of the smartphone, but it will be limited to Oppo phones with ColorOS 11 and above. It can also be used in conjunction with the OPPO Watch 2, which can be controlled with just hand gestures.
In addition to support for notifications, weather updates, and turn-by-turn navigation, the Oppo Air Glass can also be used for real-time translation. It can automatically detect the language spoken by another person and display a translated version like a teleprompter. Currently, it supports Chinese-English translations and Oppo will add support for Japanese and Korean soon.
Oppo has announced that Air Glass will only be available to users in China in black and white color options. Pricing for the product has yet to be announced. The company is also optimistic about offering AR-based shopping experiences in China in partnership with Chinese e-commerce platform JD and video content experiences with iQiYi, a Chinese streaming service.
MariSilicon X Custom NPU
Oppo also announced a custom Neural Processing Unit (NPU) at the Inno Day 2021 event. The MariSilicon X combines an NPU with an Image Signal Processor (ISP) and a memory subsystem. It is based on a 6nm process node and is specially designed for the class-leading camera features and performance in flagship Oppo smartphones. Applications for the new NPU, as touted by Oppo, include 4K HDR recording, RAW real-time AI-based processing, improved noise reduction, 4K night video mode, and an RGBW Pro mode for Oppo’s RGBW (red, green, blue, white) sensor.
Oppo claims that the ISP in the new NPU can record 4K video with 1,000,000: 1 contrast ratio and 20-bit performance, resulting in 120dB dynamic range, which translates to higher contrast between bright areas. and dark in images and videos. Oppo has labeled this “Ultra HDR” and defines it as having four times the dynamic range compared to Qualcomm’s Spectra ISP in the Oppo Find X3 Pro.
The ISP also facilitates real-time RAW processing on the MariSilicon X NPU. Oppo says that the new NPU can apply HDR directly to multiple frames in video that is recorded directly in RAW. This implies that users will be able to record lossless 4K HDR videos directly from Oppo’s flagship phones due out next year. The advanced ISP also allows artificial intelligence-based enhancements, especially noise reduction features, to be added to high-resolution images and 4K videos in real time. Oppo claims that the NPU will help capture 30% more details compared to a standard image pipeline on Android devices.
Support for high contrast ratio in MariSilicon X NPU enables sharper and brighter photos and videos. Ultra HDR and better colors also allow each frame of the video to appear as clear as an image and allow better capture of exposure at night. The new NPU will enable 4K HDR Night Video on Oppo phones released starting in the spring, aiming to offer details on par with human vision.
The MariSilicon X NPU also expands support for Oppo’s RGBW sensor, which captures two images, one using an RGB grid and the other using a grid of only white pixels to map the exposure correctly, simultaneously and then overlap them for one exposure. more accurate and accurate colors. . Oppo says that RGBW captures 70% more texture in images than a normal RGB sensor, and this improvement allows for better images. Since RGBW sensor signals cannot be read using regular systems on a chip, the technology is expected to be fairly limited to Oppo phones for now, but the OnePlus line can be expected to reap the benefits following its merger with Oppo. at the beginning of this year.
Lastly, MariSilicon NPU is designed to circumvent any memory-related bottleneck by using a multi-tier memory architecture. By integrating the memory subsystem and the ISP into the NPU, Oppo aims to utilize the full potential of these processors without any restriction due to memory. By minimizing latency in transmitting data to and from the ISP, the on-board memory reduces the power consumption of the chip.
The first phone to feature the MariSilicon X NPU will be the Oppo Find X 2022 Edition, which will launch in Q1 2022. While this NPU is certainly the starting point, it remains to be seen if Oppo will join other brands. at launch. a complete mobile chipset custom made for Oppo phones.
Oppo retractable camera
Even though Oppo didn’t talk much about the retractable camera system that had been mentioned earlier during day 1 of the event, their official website shares more information about the usefulness of this motion camera. Unsurprisingly, Oppo’s retractable camera will be used to zoom in on objects. The system is designed to offer a 2X optical zoom, with a 50mm equivalent focal length.
The biggest advantage of this feature is that it will allow the main camera to be used for 1x and 2x shooting, thus removing any compromises in terms of image quality in telephoto mode. Oppo says the retractable camera system will be paired with a Sony IMX 766 sensor, allowing for equally good photos and portraits with natural bokeh.
The retractable camera system is expected to appear on the Oppo Find X 2022, along with the MariSilicon NPU.
Find N Foldable Phone to be Announced on Day 2
On the second day of the Oppo Inno Day 2021 event, the company is likely to share more details about its upcoming Oppo Find N foldable smartphone, which will compete with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. Based on previous leaks and rumors, the foldable is expected. That Oppo’s smartphone has a smaller screen compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 3, but with a flush outer screen and the same power, due to its Snapdragon 888 chipset.
Stay tuned for our coverage of Day 2 of Oppo Inno Day 2021!
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