Best known for its fun, but unstylish, video display glasses, Vuzix has been pushing forward with its augmented reality technology for what seems like eons. But this year, it becomes a reality. At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, the company debuted its new SMART high-definition display engines and waveguide optics, which display a holographic-like full-color image on a see-through lens that measures just 1.4mm thick.
Developed with the help of Nikon, the SMART technology has the potential to completely transform the display industry. Rather than browsing the Web or using other apps on your smartphone’s screen, for example, you’ll be able to do so while walking down the street when wearing a pair of SMART-enabled glasses. Vuzix told us that they are simply developing the hardware, and any app-maker will be able to develop software to work with the SMART glasses – meaning the possibilities are only limited by the imagination of app developers.
Vuzix will release its first product SMART product in the last three months of 2012, a monocular geared toward the commercial and industrial markets. The device will be used to display analytics information for shipping, and other industry-related uses. The real exciting stuff won’t arrive for the next 18 to 24 months, according to Mike Hallett, Vuzix’s director of sales, in the form of sunglasses-like consumer “binoculars.” Don’t worry, they don’t look anything like regular ol’ binoculars — in fact, they are by far the most stylish of any Vuzix product to date.
We had a chance to check out their SMART optics technology on the show floor of CES 2012. Check out the video below: