Vuzix Corporation announced on Tuesday that it has scored a deal with Amazon to sell the Vuzix M100 "Prosumer" smart glasses in Amazon's Wearable Technology store. The specs won't be made available until November 27, but customers can pre-purchase the Android-based wearable tech now for a whopping $999.99, around $500 less than the Google Glass Explorer Edition.
According to Vuzix, the frames are produced by Rochester Optical, the same company that dishes out the subscription frames for Google Glass. Even so, the M100 can be taken to one of over 13,000 Rochester Optical stores worldwide and upgraded to match the customer's prescription. Here in North America, offices are clustered around the Northeast and Midwest regions.
So what's "under the hood?" The general list of specifications show that the M100 is based on Google's Android 4.04 "Ice Cream Sandwich," which is rather old given that Google is now rolling out Android 5.0 "Lollipop." The specs also include a Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot for up to 32 GB of external storage.
The display itself has a WQVGA resolution, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a field of view that's identical to a 4-inch screen seen at 14 inches away. The specs also include a gesture engine, voice controlled navigation, an integrated head tracker, Wireless N and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and a 5MP camera capable of shooting 1080p video. The host device that connects to the M100 must be Android; support for iOS is still in development.
News of the arrival of Vuzix's M100 on Amazon arrives after speculation began to rise that Google Glass may be losing its steam on the market due to the public's reaction. Even Google co-founder Sergey Brin was caught not wearing the device at a recent red carpet event, an indication that even Google realizes that there's a time and place to wear Google Glass.
And that's the big problem with smart glasses: people don't know how to react to a camera mounted on someone's face. But honestly, what's the difference between going to a mall and shooting video with a smartphone, or with something like Google Glass or the Vuzix M100? You know when someone is filming with a smartphone or camera; you presumably can't tell with smart glasses.
Global acceptance of Google Glass, Vuzix M100 and other smart glasses will take time. However, for now, those with smart glasses on their faces will have to live with the "prejudice," the stares, and getting kicked out of bars, movie theaters and other public establishments that are seemingly afraid of the new technology.