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Eyes on with Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses

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January 10, 2013

A diagonal view of the Vuzix M100

A diagonal view of the Vuzix M100

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With Google's Project Glass gaining plenty of attention in recent times, it's safe to say that the era of augmented reality eyewear is almost upon us. At CES 2013 we had a chance to strap on the M100 Smart Glasses from video eyewear specialist Vuzix to get at least a partial taste of what this AR future will feel like.

Described as a "hands free smartphone display and communications system," the Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses look like a fairly standard Bluetooth earpiece apart from the extension arm which supports the tiny screen. The device comes packed with built-in Wi-FI, Bluetooth, the ability to record HD video (720p), a compass, an accelerometer and a 16:9, WQVGA, full color display. An onboard processor runs on the Android OS and GPS and head tracking capabilities can determine the user's direction and movement.

Unfortunately the demo units on the floor at CES only had a video playing, so we could not see everything that the devices are able to do as far as cell phone connections and video recording.

Looking at the screen was natural enough, and even through the resolution is pretty low at only 428 x 240, the image is certainly readable and can be compared to looking at a smartphone screen at a distance of about 14-inches (36 cm).

The form factor, not surprisingly, could take some getting used to. Since it only covers one eye, there's a tendency to want to close the other eye each time you look through the device. Remaining aware of the world around while walking down the street and looking at the screen will also present its own set of challenges.

The Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses will run on Android upon initial release in the Northern Hemisphere summer, while iOS support will be coming later in the year (provided the app is approved by Apple). The company plans to release the M100 at "under US$500."

Product page: Vuzix

About the Author
Dave LeClair Dave is an avid follower of all things mobile, gaming, and any kind of new technology he can get his hands on. Ever since he first played an NES as a child, he's been an absolute tech and gaming junkie.   All articles by Dave LeClair
4 Comments

A simple application for deaf people/hard of hearing could be to use glasses like these with a word recognition software to display what is being said - could perhaps use a multiple microphone system to cancel out noise except from where the user is looking perhaps.

myale
11th January, 2013 @ 08:30 am PST

Good idea, but voice decoding is extremely difficult, especially in places with other voices and different kinds of background noise. But some day, maybe...

Stein-Erik Dahle
11th January, 2013 @ 11:44 am PST

Not sure why someone can't just coat a standard lens with metal-oxide and project the pc screen onto it. That's what most people want: do away with the need for the regular screen and use a tablet touch-screen or some virtual device/projector-detector for the keyboard.

Roger Wasson
11th January, 2013 @ 01:32 pm PST

adapt for near blind & these venues:

Theme parks

Movies?

Education

Research

Rescue work

Mapping.

archelogical studies.

Huge market for Im sure once developed.

Stephen N Russell
11th January, 2013 @ 06:24 pm PST
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