Vuzix wants a wider audience for its M100 smart glasses, and has teamed up with Amazon to sell an exclusive “prosumer” version of the Google Glass alternative through its recently introduced Wearable Tech store. The M100 first came to our attention back at the end of 2013, when it was aimed primarily at business and industrial use. The new version has been fitted to a pair of spectacles, giving it a (slightly) more acceptable style, although the functionality remains almost unchanged.
The spectacles have been designed and produced by Rochester Optical, and owners can visit any of the 13,000 retail stores partnered with the firm to add prescription lenses to the frames. According to Vuzix’s website, it’ll offer alternative frame styles in the future, but only one is currently listed by Amazon. The M100’s brain is attached to the right arm and will be available in grey or white.
Unusually, the M100 runs Android 4.0.4 with Vuzix’s own OS 2.0 over the top, and is compatible with a selection of stock Android apps, along with those specially designed for it. The M100 can be used on its own, connected to a smartphone, or a combination of both for ultimate control. It’s operated using hardware buttons on the device, by voice, or through a linked smartphone and a management app. Interestingly, the app has a keyboard and virtual mouse for interacting with certain M100 apps.
The M100 has a 5-megapixel camera mounted on it, which can shoot 1080p video. It’s powered by a 1.2GHz processor with 1GB of RAM, contains 4GB of memory, and the screen is the equivalent of viewing a 4-inch smartphone display at a distance of 14 inches. The prosumer version comes with an external battery pack to give the 550mAh internal cell a boost. It’s a good thing, because Vuzix estimates a basic six hour, display-off, usage time.
Amazon’s charging $1000 for the M100 prosumer pack, which includes a carry case, and it can be pre-ordered now for delivery on November 27.