X

Test-driving Vuzix Blade on my face before CES

A pair of smart glasses with future Alexa integration is here to wear.

Scott_Stein.jpg
Scott_Stein.jpg
Scott Stein
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
SarahTewHS2012urbanSuare01.jpg
SarahTewHS2012urbanSuare01.jpg
Sarah Tew Senior Editor / Photography
I'm a visual storyteller, working primarily in the medium of photography and photoshop. I listen to more podcasts than I can keep up with and enjoy gardening, cooking, reading, and am striving for a sustainable lifestyle. A big-picture thinker, I am always trying to put the pieces together, and though things are scary these days, I believe humanity will pull through.
Scott Stein
Sarah Tew
Vuzix Blade
1 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Here I go... test-driving my first pair of 2019 smart glasses. Vuzix Blade, let's do it.

Vuzix Blade
2 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

The Vuzix Blade headset is a lot like a Google Glass, but in a pair of glasses. The smart glasses pair with an iPhone or Android phone and can get notifications and run apps.

Vuzix Blade
3 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

The glasses look... kind of normal, maybe?

Vuzix Blade
4 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

I tried the Vuzix Blade glasses at CES in 2018. Much like it did a year ago, the Blade only projects a display in one eye.

Vuzix Blade
5 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Navigation happens via a touchpad one of the arms of the glasses... the Google Glass revisited.

Vuzix Blade
6 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

I'm wearing contacts here, but the Blade will have prescription lenses.

Vuzix Blade
7 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

These are $1,000. Hardly what anyone would ever pay, but Vuzix says these are aiming at enterprise customers. It's based off an Android OS, running custom apps on a quad-core ARM processor.

Vuzix Blade
8 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

The Blade runs apps, which can display graphics. The visible display has a clear border, but is big enough that you can see photos, videos and notifications, and even play a few games. Streaming video apps should come in the future, if you care to watch shows on your glasses.

Vuzix Blade
9 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

The Blade will run Alexa and work with voice assistants, but the current prerelease version I'm using doesn't have Alexa yet. I've tried it, though, and it works. Google Assistant support is also planned.

Vuzix Blade
10 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Do I like using my finger to navigate? No.

Vuzix Blade
11 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

But I've also not been wild about smart glasses and their awkward proposition.

Vuzix Blade
12 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

A voice-connected pair of glasses, if made small enough and light enough, might be interesting.

Vuzix Blade
13 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Maybe the Blade is a hint of other glasses to come.

Vuzix Blade
14 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

The Vuzix Blade doesn't have its own speakers... you need to pair it with Bluetooth headphones for that. It does have microphones, though, and a 720p/8MP camera for photos and video.

Vuzix Blade
15 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

The Blade charges via Micro-USB. A little power button on the inside turns it on and off, and a microprojector displays images on the lens over a small etched square.

Vuzix Blade
16 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

The Vuzix Blade pairs with a phone much like a smartwatch. And, in a way, that's exactly what it is: a smart wearable for your face.

More Galleries

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera
A houseplant

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera

20 Photos
Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra
magic-v2-2024-foldable-1383

Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

10 Photos
The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum
Samsung Galaxy S24

The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum

23 Photos
Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design
The Galaxy S24 Ultra in multiple colors

Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design

23 Photos
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites
img-0368.jpg

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

34 Photos
17 Hidden iOS 17 Features You Should Definitely Know About
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features You Should Definitely Know About

18 Photos
AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?
img-1599-2.jpg

AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

17 Photos