Image: VuzixLooks like Vuzix beat Google to the smart glasses party, as the company is now taking pre-purchase payments for the M100 Smart Glasses for $1000. The first models rolling off the production line are for the registered developers and existing backorders. Units that are ordered now should ship sometime during December.
"We are excited to begin shipping the M100 Smart Glasses. The time for wearable computing devices is upon us and we believe what Vuzix offers is the most complete and innovative in the enterprise based smart glasses wearable technology category,” said Paul Travers, President and CEO of Vuzix.
The last we heard, the M100 Smart Glasses feature a built-in WQVGA color display backed by a dual-core TI OMAP4430 SoC (clocked at 1 GHz) and Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich." The screen's field of view (diagonal) is 15 degrees, equivalent to a 4 inch mobile device screen seen from 14 inches away. Other features include 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot for an additional 32 GB of storage, and a 5MP camera capable of 1080p video.
"Due to strong demand, last spring Vuzix sold out of our gold developer kits, so after many months of working with our first developers and initial hardware, we have incorporated numerous enhancements to the M100," Travers added. "We are truly excited about the possibilities from this product and look forward to working with our growing developer community and enterprise customers who will be leveraging the M100's capabilities to boost productivity and streamline communications."
The smart glasses comes packed with a 600 mAh rechargeable internal battery that promises up to six hours of hands-free communication with the display off, and two hours with the display on. The battery will only last an hour with hands-free communication, the display turned on and high CPU loading. There's an optional 3800 mAh battery pack that increases the run time up to 6.5 times over the base M100 battery.
The new specs also include four physical control buttons, Bluetooth connectivity for communicating with a phone or other device, Wi-Fi, GPS, a noise-cancelling microphone, a speaker for the wearer's ear, and a built-in head tracker. The headset comes with Android apps pre-installed for updating the user's calendar, to snap videos and still photos, and to link to the phone. The device is also compatible with a number of Android apps offered on Google Play.
Currently, Google is still selling the Explorer Edition for $1500, making it more expensive than Vuzix's solution. However, Google said that the commercial version will be less expensive, but hasn't stated what price range the company is shooting for.