updated 01:37 pm EST, Tue December 3, 2013
Head-mounted Google Glass competitor goes on sale
Augmented reality device manufacturer Vuzix has put its own smart headwear on sale to the public, beating Google Glass to a general release. The M100 Smart Glasses, initially shown by the company late last year and previously only sold as part of a developer kit, takes after the Google device in providing a large amount of smartphone-like behavior into a head-mounted display.
The M100 features a 16:9 WQVGA full color display that provides the equivalent of a 4-inch smartphone screen hovering 14 inches away, and can be mounted on both the left and right-hand sides of the head. It has a built-in 5-megapixel camera for still images and 1080p video recording directly to its 4GB of storage or a microSD card, and is powered by a 1GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. A three-axis gyro, accelerometer, and integrated compass allows it to perform head tracking with three degrees of freedom, while its ear speaker and noise canceling microphone allows it to be used for calls.
Running on Android, it can be tethered to a smartphone running Android or iOS over Bluetooth 4.0 or Wi-Fi, and can be used in tandem with apps running on the smartphone, or to duplicate the smartphone's display, though it is also able to run pre-installed and side-loaded Android apps as well. Its built-in 600mAh battery only allows for up to two hours of hands free usage with the display turned on, though this can be boosted by up to six times via an external 3,800mAh battery pack.
Vuzix is selling the M100 Smart Glasses for $1,000, which works out to be $500 cheaper than the current Explorer Edition of Google Glass. Though the initial shipments are said by CNET to be heading to registered developers and other pre-orders, the company expects to ship to new orders within two to four weeks.