Watch out, Google. Vuzix smart glasses sell for $1,000

Now available for preorder, Vuzix's high-tech specs undercut Google Glass by $500.

Vuzix's M100 smart glasses.
Vuzix's M100 smart glasses. Vuzix

Consumers can now purchase a pair of smart glasses for $1,000.

Dubbed the first commercially available "Smart Glasses," the Vuzix M100 started shipping on Tuesday, according to the company. The first models off the line are going to registered developers and others who already ordered the product. But the M100 also is now available for preorder with a promised ship date of two to four weeks.

Described by Vuzix as a hands-free wearable computer, the device offers a monocular 16:9 full-color display that floats an image in or near your line of vision. Vuzix compares the image to that seen on a 4-inch display from a smartphone held about 14 inches away. The idea is to overlay information on the display as part of an augmented reality scenario.

Outfitted with Android, the M100 comes with a 5MP camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, GPS, a built-in head tracker, a speaker for your ear, and a noise-cancelling microphone. Preinstalled apps let you snap and view still photos and videos, update your calendar, and link to your phone. The device also is compatible with many existing Android apps.

Anyone can preorder the M100, but Vuzix seems to be aiming the device toward the professional market. In a video interview, Vuzix CEO and President Paul Travers described a warehouse situation in which a worker uses the glasses to locate targeted items and then update a product database.

"The time for wearable computing devices is upon us, and we believe what Vuzix offers is the most complete and innovative in the enterprise-based smart glasses, wearable technology category," Travers said in a statement. "Due to strong demand, last spring Vuzix sold out of our gold developer kits, so after many months of working with our first developers and initial hardware, we have incorporated numerous enhancements to the M100."

The Google Glass Explorer Edition costs $1,500 for developers and early adopters. Google has promised to lower the price for the consumer edition, but it hasn't yet revealed by how much.

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About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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