Vuzix introduces new 'smart glasses' that will work with the Alexa app

Amazon's Alexa-enabled digital glasses to debut at CES next week

Amazon’s Alexa-enabled digital glasses to debut at CES next week

Amazon is set to use CES 2018 to deliver commercial grade augmented-reality glasses with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant built in.

Vuzix will release its AR glasses by the second quarter at a cost of about Dollars 1,000, CEO Paul Travers told Bloomberg.

As the year goes on, expect more Alexa-powered wearables. The latest development is a lightweight solution of the AVS Device SDK that the company launched a year ago to let OEMs start integrating Alexa into their Bluetooth-supported connected devices.

"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.

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While acknowledging the timeliness of the move, the company said in a release that the move has been planned for a while. The company also announced a website, which they say will have more details in the coming days.

The business, or at least so-called prosumer market, might be where we first see the Vuzix glasses. AR is a technology that superimposes digital information such as maps, text messages and more onto a person's view of the real world, while VR submerses a user into a completely different digitally created world. The glasses run Vuzix Blade OS and will pair to your smartphone to display notifications, turn-by-turn directions and other information. This is expected to happen sometime in 2019. Apple's AR smartglasses are supposed to come to market in 2020. But it is interesting to see how Alexa would get into this same nascent space.

You're used to summoning help from Amazon Alexa, the voice inside Amazon's Echo smart speaker, in your kitchen or by your bed. However, its expansion might give a tough competition to Siri that is already powering the Apple Watch in addition to its integration into iPhone and iPad. In typical Vuzix fashion, there's a floating screen running Android, offering visual assistance to your voice commands.

Amazon is pushing for Alexa to be integrated into pretty much everything, from cars to fridges, thanks to providing developers with the tools to easily fit the virtual assistant into their devices. Wearers must be Amazon customers or become Amazon customers to enable Alexa's capabilities for the glasses.

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