LAS VEGAS -- There are lots of weird AR glasses here at CES 2018, but the Vuzix Blade is something I could see myself wearing on the regular. Plus, they have Alexa built in.
I went hands on with the Blade, which will go on sale this year for $1,000, and I like that they resemble regular sunglasses. They’re pretty light, too, at less than 3 ounces. The right arm has an integrated touchpad that’s easy to use. A single swipe navigates through various apps, and a two-finger swipe returns you home.
Other hardware features include a 8-MP camera, noise-cancelling mic and a see-thru color display that looked remarkably crisp. That’s thanks to Vuzix’ waveguide optics and Cobra II display engine.
The glasses also offer haptic feedback if a given app supports the feature, and there’s a microSD card slot for storage.
Pitched as a companion to a smartphone, the Blade will be able to deliver notifications as well as mapping directions, weather info and more. You’ll also be able to take calls and track your fitness stats while exercising.
Although it runs Android, Vuzix will be offering its own App Store and developers will need to optimize their apps so that it works with the touchpad. So a Pokemon Go in your face with the Blade is possible, but not a given.
Vuzix will also be offering a companion app to pair your phone to download apps and manage notifications.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test out the Alexa app, because the demo area was so noisy and had too much wireless interference.
Is the Blade worth a grand? That price is pretty steep for a smartphone companion, and it's hard to say whether it will be worth the premium without seeing the app ecosystem.
We’ll be bringing you more impressions soon.
Image credits: Tom's Guide
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