In the immersive technologies space, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all that is going on. Developments move so fast, there is certainly never ever a case of there being no news at all going on. When it comes to where such updates come from, and which part of the immersive tech space they are in it (of course) varies a great deal. For some companies, studios, or developers, it can be many months if not whole seasons between hearing anything new. Magic Leap are a good example of this, although expect them to begin ratcheting up their own announcements as Magic Leap One nears reality. At the other end of the spectrum are those companies that always seem to have an announcement up their sleeve. A new product, a new contract, a new partnership, a new release, etc, etc. These companies you’re always staggered have something else to say, they’re just so busy all the time.
Smart glasses manufacturer and augmented reality (AR) technologies developer Vuzix is one such company – in fact they’re likely the busiest of everyone based on how often we hear from them. January, thanks to this years CES event in Las Vegas, has already been full of Vuzix updates: Helping a visually impaired teenager to enhance their sight with a pair of the Vuzix M300’s. In the same ball park there was the reveal that they would be partnering with Luxexcel to provide 3D printed prescription lenses for their AR headsets. With the big announcement from CES being their team-up with Amazon to bring virtual assistant Alexa to their line.
Today though is the announcement of a brand new program connected with its Vuzix Blade product line. The ‘Vuzix Blade Edge’ program representing the second phase of the Vuzix Blade’s market launch and it also replaces the previous Beta developer kit be replaced which the company now notes is both sold out and closed.
“In order to fulfil the accelerating demand for early access to Blade hardware, Vuzix has introduced the Blade Edge program to better address the unique needs of developers, enterprise clients, and the general public.” Explains Vuzix in a statement. “The program is designed to allow for continued growth of the ecosystem of apps and solutions for Blade users, and to harness the excitement and engage early Blade fans and devotees. Developers, enterprise organizations and consumer users may apply for one of the three exclusive and limited enrolment Blade Edge member groups.”
“This much larger second wave of early Blade hardware will not only provide a competitive ‘edge’ to the developers and enterprise companies accepted into the program, but will also foster a larger ecosystem of consumer and enterprise apps that will bring even more value to the Blade user community when the Blade becomes publicly available later this year.” Adds the company’s CEO and President Paul Travers.
The three groups are as follows:
Blade Edge Architect
Designed for the Developer community. Accepted pre-orders will receive access to the Vuzix Blade SDK, emulator, technical specification updates and ultimately early Vuzix Blade hardware. Vuzix Blade Architects will also receive exclusive access to Vuzix software engineers via a secure forum on the Vuzix website.
Blade Edge @Work
Designed for Enterprise companies, solution providers and integrators. Members will receive access to the Vuzix Blade SDK, emulator, technical specification updates and ultimately early Vuzix Blade hardware. Vuzix Blade Architects will also be assigned a Vuzix account manager where appropriate to ensure support through the development, pilot and deployment stages of their product.
Blade Edge Engage
Through this program individuals will be able to engage directly with Vuzix and other Blade Edge Engage members to share ideas, provide valuable feedback, and drive the early Blade application ecosystem. Engage members will also receive prioritize access to the first public Blade shipments.