First: Vuzix’s M2000AR Are Not A Google Glass Competitor
Many are claiming the Vuzix M2000AR’s are a direct response and thus competitor of Google Glass. That’s like saying projector televisions are direct competitors to LED TV’s, meaning they overlap, but are pretty much completely different. Different technology and different general application separates Google Glasses and the Vuzix M20000AR’s by a long mile. (From here on out referred to only as M20’s, Vuzix seriously has to come up with some more practical names for their products) I more accurate Vuzix competitor to Google Glass would probably be the M100, which is projected to be released first and offers a fit and display more similar to that of the Glass. M20’s are a completely different animal however.
Smart Glasses For Different Industries
The official Vuzix blog specifically states “M2000AR is the first AR (Augmented Reality) system designed specifically for end-user use and use in industrial applications. The rugged monocular AR system is designed for use in the field.” This clearly indicates the M20 was designed with more real-life utilitarian applications. That’s not to say however that there is zero recreational use for such a device, however Vuzix is clearly marketing this towards specific niches that will make the most use out of a Smartglass monocular AR setup, the M20’s technology was unsurprisingly taken from military applications.
The M20’s use waveguide see-through augmented reality technology (developed jointly with Nokia) , which literally displays the image within the optical lens itself instead of the small refractory in-line display utilized by Google Glass. This can be seen as a negative as the display can take up the entire lens and thus the eye’s entire range of vision, or it can be seen as a positive, providing a more immersive and complete augmented reality experience. The display is 720p just like Google Glass and also incorporates a camera to take pictures or record video.
What Does The M2000AR Include?
The complete kit is pretty versatile, including an adjustable and ruggedly designed mounting system to be worn on the head alone like other smart glasses or attached to a safety helmet. There is also a belt mounted controller that houses the lithium ion battery, which can be swapped out quickly for all-day long use. Like some other top end smart glasses, the M20’s also include an array of sensors, spec’d out with a total of 9 unique sensors, including gyroscopes, accelerometers, magnetic field sensors and more.
If Useful For Soldiers Why Not Construction Workers?
It’s not hard seeing how this might have been very appealing for the military in its original application. Soldiers on the ground with a constant view of the battlefield built into their eye protection have a huge advantage over the enemy. It will be interesting to see how these glasses are utilized by construction workers, engineers and developers. Also, it would be interesting to see other ways in which this waveguide technology could be applied, as it seems excitingly reminiscent of the glass-holo computer screens featured in almost every future-action hollywood movie like minority report. The masses have been dreaming of a glass that can function as a an interactive display, the Vuzix M2000AR smart glasses are just one more step in that direction.
If you can’t wait and want the future now, Vuzix is taking preorders on their site. The current price is $5999.00 USD. Out of Smart glassesHQ’s testing budget, so if anyone has experience with them, drop us a line, we’d love to hear what you think!