Vuzix Blade glasses have a built-in projector and can synchronise with the smartphone of the user to take and share pictures. Using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection the glasses can be linked to a smartphone via the Vuzix blade app
Smart glasses that display digital images over the real-world could soon be a common sight. The Vuzix Blade glasses, set to launch later this year for around $1,300 (£950), use a tiny projector to show a virtual image in the top right hand corner of their lenses.
Wearers can connect to Wi-Fi and read emails and other messages via this display, as well as using Alexa, Amazon's digital assistant, to issue voice commands.
Unlike previous attempts, the glass' batteries, projectors and cameras are self-contained in their frames.
Tech company Vuzix, based in Rochester, New York, showcased its latest version of the augmented reality (AR) glasses at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona.
They weigh three ounces (85 grams) and reports from visitors who have tried them out suggest they are less awkward to wear than previous smart glasses, like Google Glass.
Users can connect to a dedicated app on their smartphone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to access online features, like email and text notifications,
In online mode, users can check the weather forecast, for example, without needing to use their phones, or to send and share photos.
They also function offline, operating as a standalone device. Vuzix says that the glasses will be compatible with prescription lenses and the pre-order price is listed on the firm's website at £950 ($1,300 / €1,080).
'The Vuzix Blade AR Smart Sunglasses will be the first pair of smart glasses to be Alexa-Enabled. 'This is the beginnings of leaving your phone in your pocket.' As well as having Alexa integrated, wearers can control the glasses with a touchpad on the right-hand side of the frame.
A two-finger swipe takes you to the home screen, while a one finger swipe advances you through the different features and a single-tap is used to select.The glasses can take pictures and video directly, using an eight megapixel camera and a 1080p video camera.
The Vuzix Blade smart glasses have a built-in projector that shows a clear display in the top right hand corner of the glasses which can have a variety of uses from looking at pictures to browsing the internet
They can also be used to play games and has an estimated battery life of between two and 12 hours, depending on activity. Previous attempts to develop wearable smart glasses have been clunky and slow to catch on with members of the public.
Google glass, first announced in 2013, struggled to establish a foothold in the emerging field and the sector has seen slow growth in the last five years.
Vuzix itself released the M300 glasses which are more powerful, but fail to contain the technology in one sleek, compact form.
Vuzix itself released the M300 glasses (pictured) which are more powerful, but fail to contain the technology in one sleek compact form. Previous attempts, such as Google glass have an unusual appearance
The M300 (pictured) were also showcased at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona. Although more powerful than the Blade, it is not as compact in design
WHAT ARE THE SPECS FOR THE VUZIX BLADE GLASSES?
Currently, the Vuzix Blade wearable smart glasses are still in development but are being sold for a total of €1080 (£950). This 'Blade Edge Kit' includes the glasses and developer tools.
A €270 (£240) deposit is required and the remaining €780 (£685) must be paid prior to shipping.
The Blade comes fitted with a:
- Full-colour DLP display
- Quad Core ARM CPU
- 8 Megapixel camera with 1080p video
- Android operating system
- Micro USB ear-phone jack
- Full BT functionality
- Noise cancelling microphone
- Voice control - multilingual
- Touch pad with gesture
- Head motion trackers