AR Glasses With Amazon Alexa Shown Off At CES 2018

AR Glasses With Amazon Alexa Shown Off At CES 2018

Amazon's Alexa voice assistant is coming to a pair of augmented reality smart glasses that'll be shown at CES next week. The Vuzix Blade comes with Android support for app developers as well as Vuzix's own app store, and can be paired also with iOS devices.

Vuzix CEO Paul Travers mentioned in a Bloomberg interview that while the initial cost of bringing the AR glasses is is at $1,000, the "ultimate goal" of the company is to make them available for an under $500 price. It will soon make its way to get the anticipated HomePod voice-controlled speaker from Apple.

Vuzix also targets enterprise and industrial users for the glasses, promising a simple, comfortable form factor that can also accommodate prescription glasses. The company aims to bring the price down to under United States dollars 500 by 2019. Executives from Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant will be seeking new partners and other big technology companies, including Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc.'s Oculus division, will be at the show behind the scenes as they ramp up their virtual-reality and augmented-reality products. Throughout previous year, Alexa was added to non-Amazon devices including the HTC U11, Huawei Mate 9 and a Moto Mod for the Motorola Moto Z series.

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"With the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit, [original equipment manufacturer] development teams no longer need to perform the bulk of the coding for their Alexa integration", Amazon's Gagan Luthra explained in the announcement.

The race to AR smartglasses is on, and the Vuzix Blade could be the first pair you'll actually want to wear.

The Display Cards are the visual information Alexa uses on the Amazon Echo Show. Similar to what Google Glass offered in the past, the Vuzix glasses superimpose digital information on top of the glasses to help users connect with Alexa assistant alongside looking at the real world.

Launched with Amazon Echo speaker family back in 2014, Alexa is now taking on Google Assistant with its recent debut in the market of smartphones. Wearers must be Amazon customers or become Amazon customers to enable Alexa's capabilities for the glasses.

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