The excitement caused by Google's augmented reality glasses was dampened in late 2011 by the certainty that it would take years for practical applications to start selling. Vuzix means to exploit that.ETAs (estimated times of arrival) can be surprisingly useful in marketing campaigns, especially when speaking of highly anticipated devices.
It so happens that Project Glass, Google's idea for glasses, or monocles, with augmented reality screens and smartphone-like capabilities, is one such highly-anticipated product.
This is also a case of a company taking advantage of the ETA of an item not belonging to it.
Basically, Vuzix has gotten it into its head that it wants to launch some augmented reality glasses of its own.
Called Smart Glasses, they will have a single eye piece, a lens that is really a transparent screen with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels.
Audio and wireless communication will, naturally, be part of the package deal as well, although it is unclear if the Smart Glasses will be able to make calls alone.
Vuzix may or may not decide to leave it to full smartphones to do it and use the glasses as an extension of the phone in that case.
Then again, Google has envisioned Project Glass as a fully autonomous web access point that can display information alongside whatever wearers are looking at.
Vuzix is trying for the same, and the price of $500 / 500 Euro definitely implies they have more than the basic set of skills.
And this is where Vuzix hopes to one-up Google. While the latter has scheduled the release of Project Glass for 2014, the former wants shipments to start this summer (2013). Naturally, a head start of a full year can only be a good thing, assuming the rush doesn't make Vuzix miss the chance to use better-suited parts.
After all, companies had invented tablets years before the iPad came out, but the device type never caught on because of poor hardware and high prices.