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Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses: Google Glass Faces Competition From Android-Powered Rival

By iDigital Times Staff Reporter on January 7, 2013 3:47 PM EST 0

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The Vuzix M100 smart glasses are set to compete with Google Glass, the highly anticipated computer-powered eyeglasses set for release in 3014. The Vuzix M100 will cost less than $500 according to company officials (Photo: vuzix)

If you're still itchin' to get your hands on a set of Google Glasses -- the eyeglasses that are equipped with a voice and motion-automated computer -- you may not need to wait until 2014 to use the technology. One company is working hard to release a similar concept using a device that's also worn on your head similar to eyeglasses.

Vuzix's M100 smart glasses run on a modified version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich according to a company representative. "The downside of Vuzix's glasses relative to Google Glass is that they currently rely on a smartphone to interface with the device (via Bluetooth or WiFi) and provide additional functionality, which is a blow to their flexibility," reports Ars Technica. Vuzix says that it hopes to eventually create a device that will be strong enough to power all functionality, but for now, it will need to be connected to a smartphone.

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The Vuzix M100 smart glasses display the visual equivalent of a 4-inch smartphone screen. The visual element of the Vuzix M100 device is held 14 inches from the face and has a WQVGA resolution. The device will also include a TI OMAP 4 processor, 4GB of memory, GPS, a 1080p camera and microUSB port.

"It would feel like you're looking at a screen the size of your phone, but the image floats out in space," Vuzix President and Chief Executive Paul Travers said in a CNET interview. "It's a virtual image beamed to your eye."

The Vuzix M100 was on display at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, and most reviewers gave it great reviews despite the fact that the device is still an early build. "What will these Google Glass competitors be used for? Voice search, perhaps, or for hands-free video recording and unidirectional video chat (you can only show what's in front of you, not your own face). Or, perhaps, true augmented-reality navigation apps," reports CNET editor Scott Stein.

Gizmodo editor Sam Biddle was much less impressed by the technology. "I just put the Vuzix M100 on my face, a device that's supposed to be the future of all tech: wearable computers. It's a nice idea, sort of, but if this is the future of tech, I hate the future," he wrote in a scathing review of the new technology.

Vuzix says that it will sell the M100 for less than $500. The company is scheduled to release the new device later this year. We haven't had a chance to test the new headset in person, but we're looking forward to finding out whether the projected video works as well as it's been advertised.

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