Just weeks after previewing its smartglasses in a pair of videos, augmented reality hardware maker Vuzix announced on Friday that pre-orders are open for Vuzix Blade developer kits.
The hardware and software developer's kit costs $1,997 plus shipping and taxes, with a $495 reservation deposit required to enter the queue for the device. Developers will receive a preproduction unit and an upgrade to production units when they become available.
Vuzix estimates that pre-production units will begin shipping in early 2018 on a priority basis, with production models scheduled for delivery by late first quarter 2018.
Using see-through lenses as a display, the Vuzix Blade connects to an iPhone or Android device via Bluetooth and overlays location-aware AR content on the user's view of the surrounding area. Users navigate content either through voice commands or the touch control panel on the side of the frames. The device can also conduct voice and video calls.
Weighing less than three ounces, Vuzix Blade packs a camera, microphone, processor, sensors, and batteries into a compact frame resembling a pair of wraparound sunglasses. (For sake of comparison, Google Glass weighs 1.27 oz., while Microsoft HoloLens tips the scales at 1.28 lbs.)
Vuzix will have the Blade on display at CES 2018.
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