Vuzix Corp is to show off a pair of "smart" glasses that can talk to Amazon's voice-activated digital assistant and display information to the wearer's field of view, Vuzix chief executive officer Paul Travers said in an interview.
Vuzix also targets enterprise and industrial users for the glasses, promising a simple, comfortable form factor that can also accommodate prescription glasses.
Travers said his company hopes to ship the AR glasses sometime during the second quarter of 2018 for around $1,000. The company aims to bring the price down to under United States dollars 500 by 2019. By the company allowing Alexa to be used outside its own products, companies like Bose would be able to develop Bluetooth headphones that could compete with Apple's AirPods and Google's Pixel Buds - both of which work with their respective voice assistants.
Amazon confirmed that Rochester, New York-based Vuzix's device will be the first smart glasses with Alexa.
First Alexa-enabled digital glasses to debut at CES
However, Vuzix has emerged as the first smartglass maker to showcase the development in real. This is where the business uses shine too: with an AR app, a fictional engineer look at a broken circuit board, get the glasses to identify what's wrong, and order the parts immediately through Amazon.
Augmented reality is a technology that projects computerized images onto a live video image from the real world, while its cousin virtual reality completely embeds the user in a 360-degree computer-generated world. Hence, by the time Apple releases its AR glasses, Alexa-enabled glasses could have already established a market just like what happened to the Echo series and Apple's upcoming HomePod.
Amazon is pushing for Alexa to be integrated into pretty much everything, from cars to fridges, thanks to providing developers with the tools to easily fit the virtual assistant into their devices.
A pair of Amazon Alexa-enabled digital glasses is debuting at CES this week.