Wearable-computing maker Vuzix announced today (Dec. 3) it had sent out preorder and developer units of the company's M100 Smart Glasses. With shipments going out later this month to new customers, Vuzix's Smart Glasses will be commercially available before Google Glass, which is still in beta and not expected until sometime in 2014.
The M100 Smart Glasses run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and feature a display Vuzix claims is the equivalent of a 4-inch screen held 14 inches away, much like a cellphone. The glasses also feature an earbud and a noise-canceling microphone.
The Smart Glasses device can be controlled via buttons, the user's voice, user gestures or a Bluetooth-connected Android device. (Apple iOS support is in development.)
The device's camera takes 5-megapixel stills or 1080p video, with a Micro SD slot for additional storage. The Smart Glasses come in either white or gray. At a price of $1,000, the M100 glasses are cheaper than the $1,500 beta version of Google Glass.
The Smart Glasses are designed to run Android apps natively, or pair with an Android phone or tablet to let that gadget do the work. The device's software also allows for situations in which the Smart Glasses and an Android phone work in tandem. The company also cites the camera's proximity to the screen to allow new kinds of augmented reality apps.
With Google Glass due next year, and other companies such as Samsung likely following with their own smartglasses soon afterward, competition in the wearable tech market will boom. Vuzix has just started that war with a shot across Google's bow.