Amazon‘s Alexa is coming to smartglasses, thanks to Vuzix! Amazon’s smart assistant continues to gain popularity as Vuzix is set to unveil the new Alexa powered smartglasses at CES 2018. Only a few days ago we found out that Alexa would be able to work with headphones and smartwatches later this year, now smartglasses are part of the list as well. These augmented smartglasses will be called Vuzix Blade.
A lot of things are able to work with Alexa. It can work with speakers, cars, refrigerators, phones, watches, robots and there’s even the Alexa powered ‘Ghost’. A physical version of the ‘Ghost’ which is a companion-like character in Bungie’s latest video game Destiny 2, is powered by Alexa.
You can ask that ghost to change your weapon load outs and do loads of cool things with it to save your time switching gear between characters. Alexa is rapidly gaining popularity, thus increasingly posing a threat to platforms like Apple and Google which have their own voice-powered assistants. The Vuzix Blade is the latest addition to the number of devices compatible with Alexa.
The Augmented Reality glasses will be able to display what the user asks Alexa to display (in the wearer’s field of view). Vuzix also confirmed that the Vuzix blade will be the first ever smart glasses that will have Alexa incorporated into them. According to Amazon, they’re “excited about the potential of the glasses and the ability to bring Alexa to customers in a new way.”
The glasses will also have a built in camera, microphone, and a side-mounted touchpad. It can also take your phone calls. These glasses can also pair with your smartphone devices and extract info from them for your eyes to see. If you’re one with bad eyesight then Vuzix has you covered as the Blade will also work with prescription lenses too.
The addition of Alexa will add cool new functionality for users, for example, users can ask Alexa to pull up a map or display sports scores or something along those lines.
Adding a voice assistant to the smart glasses is a great idea since voice assistant on small things is great especially in which swiping is impossible.
Thus, this venture helps not only Amazon in expanding its software but also helps Vuzix as it’s the first company to come up with these type of smart glasses. Although many other companies will now follow suit, Vuzix will have an edge being the first one to have made these glasses.
It seems as though the only downside to the Vuzix Blade will be its price as it’s said to be at a staggering $1000. You could buy an iPhone X with that sort of money! An Amazon executive admitted that the price is quite high but they claim that the Blade is designed for ‘prosumers’ such as golfers or businessmen. However, they also said that they’ll work to bring it down to under $500 and are optimistic that they’ll be able to do it by 2019.
With Apple reportedly working on its own smart glasses and smart speaker, the quality of the Alexa powered Vuzix Blade could seriously hurt Apple’s position in the market. The glasses won’t be the last thing to connect with Alexa either. Amazon is constantly working to make it easier for devices to integrate with Alexa, the Vuzix Blade is an example of just that. Apple has some serious competition now.
More details regarding the Vuzix Blade aren’t available yet but it’s not long now before we get to see the Augmented Reality glasses in action. The Blade has potential to be a real game changer. It can also give developers new ways to work with Alexa which might see Alexa at the heart of many upcoming devices. It all depends on how the Vuzix Blade works and whether it’s able to do what Vuzix has promised it’ll be able to do. We’ll find out next week.