Vuzix Announces Planned Consumer Launch of Blade Smart Glasses
At CES 2019, Vuzix brought a much more polished version of their Blade smart glasses to the table. The product, which blends augmented reality technology into a seamless and rather stylish design (when you consider some of the other options out there in this space), has always been touted as a commercial solution by the company. And that’s fine, because the applications for these types of smart glasses really lend themselves nicely to the professional world, offering hands-free instruction and the sort to field experts.
But forgive us if we want to see the smart glasses market hit the mainstream.
Hearing that call, Vuzix announced during the show that it will begin accepting preorders for their Blade AR smart glasses by the general public. Available now, the Blade smart glasses carry a $999.99 price tag, and can be purchased on the company's website. Completing a preorder for the glasses gives the user immediate access to the Vuzix Blade Developer Center, which includes product documentation, support forums, sample code, and other downloads. Prescription inserts for the smart glasses are available as an add-on for an addition $199.99.
With the launch of their consumer-ready smart glasses, Vuzix announced a few planned integrations that will make the experience all the more enjoyable. The most notable of those new features will be support for Amazon Alexa, which will give the user the ability to use their smart glasses control their smart home, and engage with the voice assistant’s various other skills. Additionally, Vuzix has planned Blade app launches scheduled for AccuWeather, Yelp, and more.
The Blade AR smart glasses are built around an Android-based operating system, giving the product the ability to run apps directly from the glasses without the support of a smartphone—though there is a Blade Companion App for things like setup, customization, and WiFi management, and more. For consumers, Vuzix said, the companion app will be upgraded to allow for photo and video sharing. Then, of course, the smart glasses can mirror your smartphone experience through push notifications and the like.
“The general release of the Vuzix Blade Smart Glasses is a significant step forward for the AR Smart Glasses industry and delivers against many promises made by other notable players in the smart glasses industry that have gone unfulfilled,” Paul Travers, Vuzix President and Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement. “Vuzix Blade Smart Glasses are truly wearable smart glasses that can not only be unboxed and paired to a phone in a matter of minutes, but also deliver immediate utility for prosumers and consumers Vuzix Blade Smart Glasses also mark the beginning of leaving your phone in your pocket, ushering in a new and dynamic era of wearable computing. And of course, the Blade Smart Glasses is also a great hands-free productivity tool for business, delivering a powerful mobile computing experience.”
Shipments of the consumer-ready Vuzix Blade AR Smart Glasses are expected to begin in early February.