Those eager to tote cyborg-esque wearable displays won’t have to wait for Google Glass to launch next year. Vuzix has just announced that its heads-up display is shipping to developers and is now available for the general public to pre-order.
The M100 Smart Glasses can be ordered for $999.99 through Vuzix’s website today and are slated to ship between 2 and 4 weeks. The heads-up display is roughly $500 cheaper than the Explorer Edition of Google Glass and doesn’t require an invitation to buy it.
The Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses sport nearly identical tech specs as Google Glass. The headset is powered by a 1-GHz dual-core TI-OMAP 4430 with 1GB of RAM, which is the same processor Catwig found in Google’s wearable display during its teardown. Like most wearable devices, the M100 syncs with your smartphone via Bluetooth or can function on its own when connected to Wi-Fi.
When we saw the Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses back in July, the device was running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and was still in the prototype phase. It features a WQVGA display capable of 720p video playback that floats in front of your face via an adjustable arm. This arm can easily be adjust to place the display above or in front of your eye. There’s also a speaker on the inside of the device on the earpiece and 4GB of onboard storage. The headset houses a microSD card slot for expandable storage as well.
Unlike Glass, however, the M100’s interface looks similar to what you would see on a smartphone. During our hands-on a few months back, we noticed that the home screen featured icons similar to your smartphone’s app drawer.
The form factor is also slightly different — the M100 prototype we wore sat like a headband atop our head with an arm extending the display over our eye. Glass sits on your face like a pair of eyeglasses.
Vuzix’s wearable display is just one of several Google Glass competitors coming to market. Devices such as the ReconJet, Telepathy One and GlassUp all seek to edge in on a market that’s predicted to reach 75 million shipments by 2018, as ABI Research reports. We look forward to bringing you a full review of the Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses soon.