It appears Google has some much-needed competition, then, in its efforts to develop an augmented-reality head-mounted display - Vuzix has just announced the M100 hands-free smartphone display and communications system.
Running applications using a tailored version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich which will allow users to download apps straight to the device, the M100 is the first real competitor to Google’s all singing and all dancing eye-wear affair – any company promoting its product via a real-time video feed from a skydive is worthy of such a tag - and offers a ‘wearable visual connection’ to a user’s smartphone, allowing them to view video, email, text messages and listen to music on the go.
“Just as smartphones forever changed the telephone, the Vuzix smart glasses M100 redefines our interface to the ever-expanding digital world.”
Also boasting a 720p front-facing camera to shoot video and snap photos, 4GB of internal memory, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, the M100 projects a WQVGA display to the eye and includes an integrated head tracker and GPS for ‘spatial and positional awareness’ to pave the way towards augmented reality. It’s powered with a 1Ghz processor.
Vuzix has yet to reveal pricing or indeed initial availability, though with the company opening up orders of the SDK unit next month for $999, expected late this year, which will also give buyers an early production model of the actual M100 when it becomes available, an estimated cost of around £600-£700 can’t be far off the mark. It could prove a valuable head-start for Vusix, who will delight in the fact Google is only expected to start shipping its $1,500 Explorer Edition units of Google Glass early next year.
Vuzix has some catching up to do at least...
For more information, visit the M100's product page.