Vuzix is a small venture capital company with 75 employees. Paul Travers, Vuzix CEO developed a pair of smart glasses that talks with Amazon using Alexa.Amazon and will show the wearer what they seek while talking to them.
Amazon’s policy has been to enable third-party developers the ability to create devices that interact with their products. This automatically increases their availability to global markets that would normally remain closed to them had they decided to control the hardware that operates their apps. (Like Apple iPhone)
Amazon also confirmed that Vuzix is the first augmented reality (AR) glasses developer that they are working with and are excited to see how the potential of the glasses meets and goes beyond their expectations. It is how Amazon can reach more customers through dedicated third-party apps. Augmented reality is when you superimpose information on a viewing screen, such as glasses or a windscreen, while virtual reality (VR) is when you dislocate the connection between the user and reality and replace it with a virtual image and sound environment.
Mind you, creating third-party gadgets for global giants helps companies value too, Vuzix’s share prices added an extra 8.5% in NY which came after a further 16% rise when the news of their product hit the market.
Amazon is not the only company that is perusing the third party dedicated app developers. CES will provide plenty of new devices from companies partnering with Google, Apple and Facebook as well as with Amazon.
While Vuzix’s product will be available for only those that are willing to pay $1,000 a pair, they hope to reduce the cost to $500. The AR glasses will eventually be able to superimpose any information, map or other Amazon generated data for Amazon members wearing the glasses.
Apple is also hoping to have their AR glasses ready for 2019, and Facebook’s Oculus will be released at $200 during 2018. Occulus will be a hand’s free technology not requiring connectivity to a PC but will have direct access to the new via WiFi and Bluetooth built into the set.
My take: Dedicated AR will become a dead-end technology very quickly. The future is in multi-source AR data, where technology will allow the wearer to switch between online information just as they do use a smartphone or PC. Multiple memberships allowing the wearer to switch between sources will make dedicated devices a thing of the past, just like Microsoft DOS revolution back in the 80’s made IBM PC’s replaceable with compatibles.