Following the success of the Blade AR glasses, Vuzix has announced the second generation of the glasses. The glasses are designed “primarily for commercial use” and cost some $500 more than the initial model, but technology has come a long way and we look forward to seeing what this edition is capable of.
Under the Hood of the Blade 2
The Vuzix Blade 2 runs Android 11 with 40GB of integrated storage on a Qualcomm processor. Connectivity is available through WiFi and Bluetooth at 2.4 and 5GHz. Waveguide optics provide a 24bit full-color display and prescription inserts are available in the safety-certified lenses.
The headset also comes loaded with onboard speakers, noise-canceling microphones, and an HD camera capable of taking photographs or streaming video. Inputs include a touchpad, head-tracking, and full voice control. All of this is in a lightweight form factor designed for all-day use by “deskless workers.”
“This latest model is a direct response to widespread interest for a more muscular version, with greater functionality and performance, while preserving the all-important wearability factor,” Vuzix President and CEO, Paul Travers, said in a release. “Vuzix Blade 2™ smart glasses are now optimized for enterprise use across a broader number of use cases.”
The glasses start at $1,300 on the company’s website beginning in September. At launch, they will be available in the US, UK, Canada, and Japan.
Blade 2 in the Vuzix Ecosystem
The original Blade appeared on the list of ARPost’s favorite AR glasses two years ago. In the meantime, the company has been developing its M-Series and its Shield model. The M-series is still very much its own product line but Shield and Blade are becoming increasingly similar products. The key differentiator is the Shield’s binocular display – and another $700.
“If you go back in time, we used to make a binocular display that you could plug into your iPod,” Travers told ARPost discussing the Shield earlier this year. “Since we moved into enterprise, this is our first.”
Shield is currently only available in a monochromatic developer edition, with full color expected to reach a wider market next year. So, the Blade 2 could fill that gap for users looking to get their hands on one of these models sooner than later.
Blade 2 looks great, and the full rollout of Shield looks great. These just amp up the excitement for some of the prototype next-gen glasses that Vuzix has hinted at in the past. Give me a monochrome, monocular display, I don’t care, if it’s in an all-day wearable form factor that also corrects my vision for under $1k… well, that’s this writer’s wishlist.
Big Things Are Happening
Vuzix is doing things. A lot of people need a device like Blade 2 right now. And, even those who don’t should see this as a major sign of things to come.