Vuzix launches new early access program for Alexa-enabled AR glasses

Set to launch later this year, Vuzix's Blade Edge sunglasses with Alexa integration can now be pre-ordered by enterprises, developers, and consumers.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor

Video: Vuzix launches Blade Edge program for devs and enterprise clients

Vuzix on Wednesday launched a new program for enterprises, developers, and consumers to gain early access to its Google Glass-like Blade smartglasses.

The Blade Edge program follows Vuzix's unveiling of its Blade-branded sunglasses during CES 2018 that are set to be released to the public later this year. It replaces the Blade Beta Developer kit pre-order program, which Vuzix said is sold out and now closed (pre-orders will be honored).

The early access program offers the three groups different perks:

  • Blade Edge @ Work: For enterprises, members will receive access to the Vuzix Blade SDK, emulator, technical specification updates, and early Vuzix Blade hardware.
  • Blade Edge Architect: For developers, Vuzix says accepted pre-orders will gain access to the Vuzix Blade SDK, emulator, technical specification updates, and early Vuzix Blade hardware.
  • Blade Edge Engage: For customers, accepted members will gain prioritized access to the first public Blade shipments. Vuzix says members will also be able to share ideas, provide feedback, and "drive the early Blade application ecosystem."

Application for pre-order to the Blade Edge program requires a $250 deposit towards the $1,000 Blade Edge Kit that includes Blade Edge Unit and developer tools. A shipping date hasn't been announced by Vuzix.

The Blade Edge shown earlier this month featured heads-up information projected on its lenses and Amazon Alexa integration. The glasses, capable of pairing with Android, iOS, and Wi-Fi, have a built-in 8-megapixel camera capable of capturing 1080p video, microphone and side-mounted touchpad.

In the workplace, Vuzix touts its Blade Edge glasses can be used in light mobile business applications to access real-time data, navigation, augmented reality, HD photography, video recording, and more.

"The launch of the new Vuzix Blade Edge program will now allow the Company to address the strong and growing interest of thousands of developers, enterprise customers and consumers," Paul Travers, CEO and president of Vuzix, said in a statement. "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."

Vuzix says those interested in its early access programs can apply through its webpage.

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