Musings on designing experiences & (re)engineering complexity

Aug 2023

XReal Beam, Monitor Replacement on Deck

Photo XReal Air Glasses and Beam accessory on desk alongside other Air accessories and packaging. iPad in background showing XReal website.

Catching up with many who also got the XReal Beam, Avanceé’s came in today and it’s already been a pretty neat experience.

To cover things others haven’t said as much of… very easy to setup. Though didn’t realize having Nebula (MacOS) app open would conflict with the Beam. It’s an either/or not a “both can be connected.”

Turned on screen mirroring and then the Beam went in pocket. That was good. What wasn’t - couldn’t do anything except see what was on screen. If at some point in the future the Beam could also play mouse & Siri/dictation invoke device, then this would be able to push just a tick further. That said, it’s not bad to just get up or move one’s head around as needed. And nothing like having “just zoomed enough” for the size of the “screen.”

That last bit most intriguing since iPadOS much more the working platform. Can see a context where the iPad is connected, but then kick to only using voice and cursors to do a few necessary things in both the device and the extended screen. Ideal use included wearing/using the Tap keyboard, so this seems an ideal scenario for extending the iPad to near-VisionOS ranges of use. This isn’t quite the right use case for iPadOS, but could be if iPadOS 17’s polish invites more to the apps table.

Did have a neat-yet-dystopian feeling bit happen when answering the door while wearing and viewing a screen. On part a challenge of attention, but another of getting very close to an induced state of being in between realities. Not sure it’s a good feeling, even if there is some value to “having a screen off to the side when you turn your head to attend to something else.” Will have a bit more play with this, but likely not publicly for a while. If there’s a protopian view to this, would be great to co-discover this sooner rather than later.

Much more to explore. Throughly intrigued to see how Air+Beam will respond off the nightly standby on MacOS (will it go back to screen mirroring or not, then allow me to login). Still, very, very cool play. Plus already did the “answer the door while staring at my monitor. A tick on the dystopian side, a bit on the “screens probably do anchor or come with you” side also. The “normal” monitor was disconnected though. Not even a few hours in and that decision was made. There’s something to be said about jumping in here, and this makes sense for what’s brewing in the Avanceé R&D lab.

The XReal Air and Beam are available from their website, or Amazon, and probably a few other places. XReal did not pay for or provide any editorial support for this or previous articles.