If you thought Google would enjoy monopoly once their wearable Google Project Glass once it hits the shelves, you are wrong. The concept of wearable display is nothing new, it has been around since the beginning of the last century but Google was the first company to actually take a stride and make this technology come closer to reality. With the powerful smartphones and tablets of today and the ever evolving internet and internet technology that has seen internet speeds increase so fast over the last couple of years has made wearable displays possible.
Earlier this year, Google announced their Project Glass which essentially would be a computer in its own. The new device being worked on Vuzix dubbed M100 and is set to run on Android OS looks a lot like a Bluetooth headset with an elongated microphone but this time positioned just below the eye. The M100 is modeled on a Bluetooth hands free device but with expanded functionalities to include display and a camera. It offers a 16:9 WQVGA fill color display and will basically be used to access a smartphone’s or a tablet’s display via Bluetooth or WiFi. M100 also promises a 16 degree field view as well as a bright display for use in different light situations such as outdoors and indoors.
The integrated camera is also capable of capturing high definition 16:9 aspect ratio video and take still images just like a conventional smartphone camera. Once the video or picture is taken, the device will store it in its internal 8GB memory or directly on a device such as a smartphone or tablet without requiring removal of the memory card to insert into the device.
This wearable display hands free unit will come with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system which makes it easier to connect to Android devices although it is will work well with other operating systems such as Windows Phone and iOS or any other smartphones or tablets with WiFi or Bluetooth. According to Vuzix, the M100 can also be used in a wide range of applications including browsing the internet and interacting with other people or playing games. Simply put, the hands free can accomplish almost everything you can do with your phone now. It features a ton of other specs including gyroscope, a 3 axis head tracker, a digital compass and a GPS sensor. Being primarily a communication device, the Vuzix M100 also comes with an earpiece and a noise-cancelling microphone.
A notable factor is that the Vuzix M100 is on itself a standalone communication or computing device with incredible power. It’s 1 GHz OMAP 4430 processor and 1 GB RAM is enough for it to perform even the most demanding operations such as taking videos and images and processing them. It has 4 GB internal memory but can support a memory card up to 8 GB in capacity, gives a 1280 x 720 WQVGA resolution display when viewed from a 14 inch distance, 2,000 nits brightness and physical control keys for power, select and volume.
That’s not all, the Vuzix, despite the small size, comes with a battery that can offer up to 8 hours of hands free use, 2 hours when the display is turned on and only 1 hour for display with the camera in use. This is not very impressive of course because it means heavy users will have to keep it in charge most of the time but considering the size, perhaps the sacrifice is worthy. When it comes to build, the Vuzix M100 is a lot thinner and sleeker than Google’s Project Glass despite the additional functionalities and features, which makes it more practical and comfortable.
Vuzix has already won the Best Innovation Award 2013 for the Vuzix M100 meaning that this product has a lot of potential. The company is currently calling on developers to develop application software for the device. What worries me though is the glass’ price. A developer edition with an emulator and sample codes, along with a promise of a unit when the device is eventually released, costs developers $999. We just hope that when it is eventually hits the stores, the price will be much lower.
This is a pretty awesome device, if it comes ahead of Google’s project glass, then the company will have set the standard for wearable displays and audio visual hands free devices.
Check the specific details and specifications of the Vuzix M100 on the device web page.