The very first Alexa-enabled smart glasses are on their way, and making their debut at CES 2018, Las Vegas. Of course, it’s the enterprising young Vuzix who are taking the reigns and spearheading Alexa’s incorporation into augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) devices.
Amazon are of course eager to have Alexa integrated with as many smart devices as possible, so smart glasses and head-mounted displays (HMDs) are the next logical step. Amazon allows Alexa integration in third party products, and several tech manufacturers are using Alexa with their speakers and more, but this is the first time we’re seeing Alexa breach another reality.
An Amazon spokesman has said that they are; “excited about the potential of the glasses and the ability to bring Alexa to customers in a new way.”
It’s good news for Vuzix, who’s shares went up almost 8% after the news broke.
CES 2018, Las Vegas, will be the place where many new AR and VR products make their debut, with smart glasses being just one example of the kinds of interesting new products that’ll be making their way onto the market.
We’ll see Vuzix’s AR glasses with Alexa support before the summer of 2018, at a price point around $1,000 USD. Sound pricey? It is, but interestingly, Vuzix Chief Executive Officer Paul Travers has said they’re looking to get the price down to $500 USD by 2019. Promising, but should probably make early adopters understandably hesitant.
Travers believes Amazon won’t be content simply having Alexa integrated into a pair of third party smart glasses, after being asked if Amazon will make their own smart glasses, Travers says; “I think everyone is going to come out with glasses sooner or later” in a report according to Bloomberg.
It’s good to see the smart glasses market continue after Google Glass had a rough test launch. The mixed reception has taught startups and manufacturers what pitfalls to avoid and how to make a smart glasses product that has the potential to be both mainstream and useful for productivity fans.
We can’t wait to see more smart glasses and other tech make use of virtual assisstants like Alexa – especially as virtual assistants improve. For all the latest on virtual reality and more, stay on VRFocus.