We’ve all heard of Google Glass, but the search giant isn’t the only company looking to put smartphone features in front of your very eyes. Vuzix, the leading name in video eyewear, has been working on something of a similar fashion for over a decade, and has now unveiled the M100 Smart Glasses.
Looking much like a Bluetooth headset, the M100 can be attached to the user’s ear or head and provides the equivalent of a 4-inch smartphone display held at 14-inches away, right in front of your eyes. The screen provides a WQVGA resolution in the 16:9 widescreen format and will deliver notifications for emails, calls and messages from an Android smartphone or tablet. It’s also got the power to access the internet and play games, all on a screen that sits in front of your eye. The display itself isn’t merely LED or OLED, but instead uses WaveGuide technology that has been developed in partnership with Nokia.
The headset runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and contains both its own processor for running applications and a camera, which will provide augmented reality capabilities – for example, place information can be overlayed on top of your field of vision as you look around a city.
Classed as a Bluetooth wireless personal information display system, Vuzix says the M100 will deliver text, video, email, mapping, audio, and all we have come to expect from smartphones right in front of your eyes, while not interfering with you seeing where you’re walking.
As for specifications, the M100 packs 4GB of dedicated memory and a Micro SD card slot that accommodates cards up to 8GB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS connectivity, an integrated compass and head tracking with 3 degrees of freedom, a noise cancelling microphone and a noise suppressed earpiece speaker and a 720p HD camera capable of video recording.
While Android is the focus, Vuzix has confirmed it will be releasing a software developer kit for iOS sometime next year, which hopefully will lead to apps and much more being created for the M100 and iOS devices. The first models are expected to be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2013, with the company hoping to launch before Google Glass does.