The fruits of a recently announced partnership between Vuzix and Toshiba appear ready to ripen. On Monday, Toshiba and Vuzix unveiled the first Windows 10-based smart glasses solution and announced that the product was ready to begin entering mass production.
The dynaEdge AR100 Head Mounted Display (HMD) is a completely wearable PC system that connects to Toshiba’s dynaEdge DE-100 Mobile Mini PC and a range of spectacles for an on-face computing experience. According to Toshiba, the AR solution provides document viewing, live video calls, see-what-I-see experiences, photo and video capture, alerts and messaging, workflow instructions, and barcode scanning. The $1,899.99 product appears geared more towards the commercial market with ideal use cases ranging from “Remote Expert” to “Training and Knowledge Transfer,” per Toshiba.
“Much like how laptops have increased office productivity by enabling workers to take their PCs with them anywhere they go, we believe that wearable PCs combined with smart glasses will take on-the-job productivity to a whole new dimension,” Carl Pinto, vice president, marketing and engineering, Client Solutions Division, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., said in the statement. “We developed the dynaEdge AR Smart Glasses to help businesses mobilize their frontline and field workers and improve business outcomes with powerful PC solutions that can go anywhere they go without being obstructive.”
The AR 100 is described by Toshiba and Vuzix as being “extremely lightweight,” checking in at less than two ounces. It can be mounted to either the left or right side of a pair of compatible frames, making it a flexible solution for the end user. The micro display provides a viewing experience that is roughly comparable to a 4.1-inch display viewed from 14 inches away.
Technology built into the HMD includes an integrated touchpad, GPS, three-axis accelerometer with a gyroscope for head tracking, 5MP POV camera, speaker and dual noise-canceling microphones. Options for mounting include a Google Glasses-esque lens-less frame, safety frames, safety helmets, and headband mounts.
Late last year, Vuzix and Toshiba announced that they were entering into a partnership that would see the two work together to produce custom smart glasses solutions. The three-year agreement would allow Vuzix—a leading supplier in the smart glasses and AR space for consumer and enterprise solutions—to be the sole supplier to Toshiba. The agreement is expected to bring in a minimum of $5 million in purchases during the first 12 months for Vuzix.
“Over the past year the team at Vuzix has done a remarkable job at executing against an aggressive project timeline for Toshiba to bring to market the world's first Windows-based smart glasses,” Paul Travers, President and Chief Executive Officer at Vuzix, said in a statement. “In just over a year we have successfully gone from design on a paper napkin to commencing volume production. Our shift into high volume manufacturing and deliveries of our Vuzix co-branded AR smart glasses product for Toshiba represents a strong vote of confidence in our capabilities and recognition of our leadership position within the wearable technology space.”
The dynaEdge AR100 HMD smart glasses and a complete line of accessories will be available during the second quarter of 2018—so, sometime real soon.