Vuzix, the same company that beat Google Glass to market with the M100 smartglasses, has announced it has developed with Nokia a new tech they call "Waveguide." The guts of the smartglasses resides at the temples of the glasses, including a display engine that sends the image into fiber optic elements embedded into a plastic or glass lens only .055 inches (1.4 mm) thick. These lenses then project the image into the user's eyes, creating what the company calls a virtual image. The result is something that looks like normal eyeglass lenses, but with heftier frames, rather than the thick rectangular prism that Google Glass and other smartglasses use to display an image.
The first product Vuzix will release utilizing the tech is called the M2000AR, a single-lensed device meant for enterprise and industrial use. It will be available for demonstration at the 2014 CES convention, being held in Las Vegas from Jan. 7 to Jan. 10. Vuzix says the M2000 will be released in 2014, but has not disclosed a price. Despite the company's promise of ultrathin glasses, this cyber monocle looks far bulkier than Google Glass.
According to Vuzix the M2000AR features a 720p display and 1080p camera, an HDMI connection, integrated headtracking and compass, all powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery. The company also claims the Waveguide tech will provide an image with a better field of view and yet be lighter than smartglasses that use prisms.
The concept drawings for the Waveguide show smartglasses with two thin lenses and a subtler frame. That is likely a few years away from becoming reality, but such a form would fit the futurism that most picture when they hear about smart glasses.