Mobility

Vuzix debuts Amazon Alexa-powered AR smart glasses to help you get work done

The glasses will allow enterprise users to access information from their smart phones seamlessly, using voice commands for the digital assistant.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • At CES 2018, Vuzix announced the Vuzix Blade AR smart glasses, which provide a wearable smart display that pairs with Android or iOS phones to offer the wearer hands-free mobile computing and connectivity.
  • The glasses will be available for purchase in Q2.

CES 2018 has seen Alexa integrations into devices across many brands, but perhaps none more intriguing than augmented reality (AR) smart glasses from Vuzix. The Vuzix Blade AR smart glasses, unveiled at the show, provide a wearable smart display that pairs with Android or iOS phones to offer the wearer hands-free mobile computing and connectivity.

The smart glasses could represent the next step in enterprise adoption of AR tools. They follow Microsoft and Samsung's Windows Mixed Reality headset, the Samsung HMD Odyssey—a premium AR headset that could be a strong option for businesses looking to explore the technology. And the Facebook-owned Oculus recently launched an Oculus for Business bundle and a less expensive Oculus Go headset for enterprise use.

A key differentiator for the Vuzix Blade glasses is their form factor: Compact and sleek, the glasses look essentially like regular sunglasses. The glasses may be more appealing to enterprise users due to this form factor, as well as their ability to pair with a smartphone or connect directly to a Wi-Fi network, allowing for custom secure industrial applications.

SEE: CES 2018: The Big Trends for Business (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature)

"It's like having your computer or smartphone screen information right in front of you, wherever you go," according to a press release.

That means that, with Alexa's help, a user could access directions, restaurant menus, weather, events, stocks, video conferences, and social media feeds directly from the glasses, as well as all alerts from their phone.

The glasses feature Vuzix's proprietary waveguide optics and Cobra II display engine, and weigh less than 3 oz. They are also prescription ready, and include adjustable FOV location and brightness.

SEE: Survey: Has smart office tech made you more productive, or created more hassles? (TechRepublic/Tech Pro Research)

Vuzix developers can also tap the Vuzix Blade's open Android platform to build AR apps for the glasses, and sell them on the Vuzix App Store.

"The official unveiling of the Vuzix Blade AR Smart Glasses from its production ready tooling is a pivotal moment for Vuzix and for the AR industry as a whole, as it introduces the first truly wearable pair of light weight AR smart glasses for consumers and enterprise," Paul Travers, president and CEO of Vuzix, said in the release.

The Vuzix Blade glasses will cost about $1,000, Travers told Bloomberg, and will ship in Q2.

Also see

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Image: CNET

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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