Vuzix Smart Glasses add AR display to ordinary-looking specs

Vuzix is promising Terminator-style augmented reality head-up displays, without the geeky oversized specs usually associated with the tech, in its new streamlined Smart Glasses. Built around a pair of reasonably ordinary-looking sunglasses, Vuzix's Smart Glasses use some licensed Nokia IP to fit a 1.4mm waveguide lens and a tiny display engine into frames that won't leave you looking like an 70s throwback.

The display engine itself promises high contrast and brightness, suitable for outdoor use, while the waveguide is similarly special. Vuzix says it uses "input and output hologram structures on the surface which squeezes the light down the waveguide and then two dimensionally expands the image back into the user's eye, creating an image that is then mixed into the real world."

What that adds up to is the ability to pull data from your smartphone, laptop or another source up into your glasses, overlaying and integrating that information into your view of the real world. Both daytime and nighttime use is supported, meaning the Vuzix Smart Glasses will be just as much at home reminding you who you've already met at a business meeting as they are guiding you to the nearest bar after hours.

Vuzix is planning both monocular and binocular versions, with applications not only for consumers but in industrial and commercial spheres too. There'll be head-tracking support, as well as various camera options; as we've seen before, that can turn your glasses into a full AR system. Retail availability is pegged for this coming summer.

Update: Vuzix has been in contact to say that the summer availability is for the monocled versions of the Smart Glasses system, targeted at the industrial and commercial markets. Other versions will follow on at a later date. There's also the possibility for non-sunglasses variants, with the waveguide lens itself being more transparent and only slightly color-tinted for better image reproduction.

[via Engadget]