If you are a fan of smart glasses but were disappointed with the Google Glass, Vuzix’s new smart glasses may be your new favourite gadget of 2018.
Vuzix has been developing its smart glasses since before Google began working on its Glass product, and has finally released a pair of spectacles which excel in the areas Google Glass fell short.
Combining proprietary display technology with a compact and basic form factor, the Vuzix Blade glasses look a lot like standard shades.
While they are slightly bulky, they look more like normal spectacles than competing products – without sacrificing functionality.
The Vuzix Blade use the manufacturer’s waveguide optics and Cobra II display engine to display images on the lens itself, removing the need for separate display panels.
All the hardware required to power the functionality is embedded in the frame and lenses of the glasses, making it the sleekest product on the market.
Even more useful is that the thick side of the frame functions as a touchpad, allowing you to navigate and operate the device without using voice commands or your smartphone.
For those who wear prescription glasses, the Vuzix Blade can be fitted with prescription lenses, in addition to photochromic lenses – and all lens options include UV protection.
The display is private and supports a number of applications, from social media to navigation, with haptic feedback drivers acting as a notification system.
The smart glasses include a number of useful features, but perhaps the most impressive is the integration of Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant.
Vuzix Blade wearers can issue voice commands to Alexa via the smart glasses, which can display web pages, play games, or perform various hardware functions on command.
The chipset inside the Blade also allows for impressive functionality, including the potential to perform object recognition and support gesture control, allowing you to control a heads-up display with hand movements.
The Blade pairs with navigation, weather, and messaging apps to deliver texts, directions, and live information directly to your heads-up display, too.
Users can also take images and record video using the device’s 8MP camera.
The hardware packed into the conventional glasses frame of the Vuzix Blade includes batteries, full-colour display lenses, touchpads, a microSD slot, 8MP camera, dual haptic feedback, and more.
The device is powered by a quad-core ARM CPU and supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
A noise-cancelling microphone is also embedded into the frame of the glasses just below the lenses.
Vuzix’s Blade smart glasses are available for order as a developer kit for €1,099 from the official website.
This package includes access to the product’s developer centre, product documentation, support forums, sample code examples, and more.
The delivery time for the Blade developer kit varies from 8-12 weeks.