Alexa, what am I looking at?
Vuzix has revealed its pair of Blade smartglasses, which will be on show at next week's CES show and function as a Google Glass-style heads-up display, rather than a mixed reality headset like HoloLens.
Over the weekend, Bloomberg learned that Rochester, New York-based company Vuzix is unveiling its Alexa-enabled smart glasses at the largest consumer technology trade show this week. Amazon says that it is "excited about the potential of the glasses and the ability to bring Alexa to customers in a new way". Alexa will let you control plenty of smart home devices with your voice.
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Amazon are of course eager to have Alexa integrated with as many smart devices as possible, so smart glasses and head-mounted displays (HMDs) are the next logical step.
The Vuzix Blade specs look a little like chunky retro-future sunglasses, the kind of things you'd expect the fashionistas of London's borough of Chelsea to attempt to pull off while snaffling Bellini cocktails as an oligarch's swanky digs.
Voice assistants are key on smaller devices, such as glasses, where swiping is impractical. Executives from Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant are to be seeking new partners and other big technology companies, including Apple Inc and Facebook Inc's Oculus division, will be at the show behind-the-scenes as they ramp up their virtual reality and AR products. Throughout past year, Alexa was added to non-Amazon devices including the HTC U11, Huawei Mate 9 and a Moto Mod for the Motorola Moto Z series. Just ahead of CES on Friday, Amazon announced the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit toolkit.
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The kit will be available later this year.
Amazon has already said that Bose, Jabra, iHome, Beyerdynamic, Bowers & Wilkins, among others, plan on adding Alexa to various Bluetooth audio devices in the coming months.
However, Vuzix has emerged as the first smartglass maker to showcase the development in real.
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The display is a 5.5-inch 75Hz 1440p LCD with a 110-degree field of view, and the device contains a 4,000mAh battery . The headset is quite comfortable, although it's bulky; comfort comes from the big brace that goes over your head.
The new glasses would pair with your smartphone.
Depending on their quality, availability and price, these AR products could haunt, which has planned its own smart speaker and is working on augmented reality glasses.
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