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Hands (and Eyes)-On with Vuzix Smart Glasses

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 13 comments

This headset could be trouble in the hands of perverts and hackers, but it's a cool gadget nonetheless.

Vuzix was sporting its Smart Glasses M100 at CES 2013, calling it the "world's first" hands-free smartphone display. It's a wearable personal display and communications system for linking users to their mobile device's data and the cloud. It runs on Android and connects via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

The device slides over one ear and one eye, and isn't heavy by any means. It comprises of three components – the main body, the adjustable boom, and the WQVGA color display. On this latter component is a 1080p HD camera for taking pictures and video, a feature that could prove troublesome in the hands of perverts and thieves looking for credit card and PIN numbers.

The actual display is surprisingly sharp and easy to read even with both eyes open. Think of it as sitting at the back of a movie theater: everything is crisp and bright, and you don't have to strain to read text. Thus, it would seem possible to pump media into the headset like movies, TV shows and what not, making for an awesome mobile video screen.

According o the company, it lets you answer the phone via a visual address book, read text messages and email, use visual navigation and basic augmented reality (AR) applications. This gadget supports downloadable applications too spanning email to video recording to even gaming.

The M100 also sports an integrated head tracker which keeps the virtual display leveled when moving your head just slightly (meaning if you nod just slightly in a yes or no position, the screen doesn't move), or locks the display and moves it along with your head if you're turning to look at something, or looking up into the sky, etc.

The Vuzix M100 is slated to arrive later this year, but how it will be marketed is up in the air at this point. A Vuzix rep said that there are social aspects to consider such as secretly recording video, walking in public areas using the device, actually driving a car with the headset in place and so on. Reception has been outstanding, the rep said, but the company needs to do more research and come up with a suitable marketing strategy.

Here are a few related announcements:

* Vuzix Unveils its M100 Smart Glasses at International Consumer Electronics Show (pdf)
* Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses Ready for App Development (pdf)

 

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  • 0 Hide
    Onus , January 9, 2013 8:37 PM
    Price? Battery life?
  • -1 Hide
    stevo777 , January 9, 2013 8:50 PM
    On this latter component is a 1080p HD camera for taking pictures and video, a feature that could prove troublesome in the hands of perverts and thieves looking for credit card and PIN numbers.

    It would be my guess that in order to do augmented reality, there would have to be a video camera that would need to process the video stream to overlay intelligent information relative to what you are viewing. I really don't see a way around that, but I could be wrong.

    Like it or not, I'm pretty sure there will be cameras everywhere within a few years, hopefully, with a few private exceptions.
  • 2 Hide
    internetlad , January 9, 2013 8:52 PM
    Open the pod bay doors please, HAL.
  • 4 Hide
    stevo777 , January 9, 2013 8:52 PM
    Sorry, forgot the quotes on the above. Please ignore.

    "On this latter component is a 1080p HD camera for taking pictures and video, a feature that could prove troublesome in the hands of perverts and thieves looking for credit card and PIN numbers."

    It would be my guess that in order to do augmented reality, there would have to be a video camera that would need to process the video stream to overlay intelligent information relative to what you are viewing. I really don't see a way around that, but I could be wrong.

    Like it or not, I'm pretty sure there will be cameras everywhere within a few years, hopefully, with a few private exceptions.
  • 5 Hide
    internetlad , January 9, 2013 8:53 PM
    what's the deal with this feared to be used by perverts? It's mounted to your face, you'd have to walk up to some woman and stick your face in her clevage for it to record anything interesting.
  • 0 Hide
    punahou1 , January 9, 2013 9:17 PM
    Kind of looks like 1/2 of the glasses used in the TV show Caprica. So is Ben Loquiao, the guy who patented this many years ago, finally going to be making money?
  • -4 Hide
    tokencode , January 10, 2013 12:33 AM
    internetladwhat's the deal with this feared to be used by perverts? It's mounted to your face, you'd have to walk up to some woman and stick your face in her clevage for it to record anything interesting.



    I think the concern is that some thing that some happens to catch a glimpse of is now recorded forever to be replayed... think mom breastfeeding her baby or someone quickly typing a pin on a keypad which could then be replayed slowly to decipher the pin
  • 2 Hide
    twisted politiks , January 10, 2013 3:11 AM
    tokencodeI think the concern is that some thing that some happens to catch a glimpse of is now recorded forever to be replayed... think mom breastfeeding her baby or someone quickly typing a pin on a keypad which could then be replayed slowly to decipher the pin



    This already happens today. You can easily pretend to be using your phone, while actually shooting video the whole time. If you don't want people catching a peep, then I suggest you don't do it.
  • 0 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , January 10, 2013 5:17 AM
    Hopefully, this will make our society much more open, shedding its Taboos.
  • 1 Hide
    chewy1963 , January 10, 2013 5:19 AM
    In other news, Apple announces it's own smart glasses the new iEye! Available to sheep everywhere. (nod to Futurama).
  • 0 Hide
    maigo , January 10, 2013 9:15 AM
    And if you already wear glasses?
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , January 10, 2013 12:54 PM
    maigoAnd if you already wear glasses?


    I'd be surprised if they dont' have some sort of clip on option or didn't plan for it to be useable with glasses, I don't wear glasses myself but i remember a whiel back there was a heads up dssplay concept that used a person's classes and prodected data on them with a special coating on the insitede of cglasses, that was a year or so ago not sure if its still in the works but it seemed cool at the time
  • 0 Hide
    TeraMedia , January 10, 2013 2:16 PM
    What? No Borg references?

    I can't really tell from the pictures. Does the device provide the eye with a kind of HUD transparent overlay, or is the eye completely covered so that binocular vision isn't possible?