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Vuzix and Amazon Partner To Bring Augmented Reality Glasses with Alexa Support

10 January 2018

Augmented reality is a technology that projects computerized images onto a live video image from the real world, while its cousin virtual reality completely embeds the user in a 360-degree computer-generated world.

If Amazon has its way, the artificial intelligence-infused Alexa digital assistant will be pretty much at your beck and call everywhere, and that means the bathroom, your computer and even in a product such as the see-through augmented reality glasses that a company called Vuzix will be showcasing this week during the mammoth CES tech show in Las Vegas. The glasses run Vuzix Blade OS and will pair to your smartphone to display notifications, turn-by-turn directions and other information.

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Vuzix and Amazon Partner To Bring Augmented Reality Glasses with Alexa Support

Ahead of this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Amazon announced a new tool kit called the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit that will allow developers "to bring Alexa to portable, on-the-go devices such as hearables, headphones, smart watches, fitness devices, and more". Amazon has confirmed that Vuzix's device is the first product of its kind to be Alexa-enabled. That includes stock prices, sports scores and weather data.

Amazon hasn't said whether it will release its own branded smart glasses with Alexa, but Travers expects it to happen.

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At first glance, the Vuzix Blade AR Smart Glasses resemble your standard pair of sunglasses. So for those who do not have an account yet but are already planning to purchase the smart glasses, there is still time. HoloLens in its current form costs $3,000 for developers and enthusiast, while the Vuzix AR glass will set you back around $1,000. Sound pricey? It is, but interestingly, Vuzix Chief Executive Officer Paul Travers has said they're looking to get the price down to $500 United States dollars by 2019. Simply ask Alexa questions just as how you've done before, and the glass will show results in an AR setting. However, the Cupertino giant is not expected to release its high-tech spectacles until 2020. But with Siri's HomePod debut delayed, Alexa seems to be stepping into the augmented reality market.

It's worth noting that Amazon and Apple aren't the first ones to bring AR glasses to the market. However, Google Glass failed due to its expensive price and very complicated distribution structure.

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The new glasses would pair with your smartphone.

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Vuzix and Amazon Partner To Bring Augmented Reality Glasses with Alexa Support