Rochester, New York-based augmented reality glasses maker Vuzix has spent years on a quest to deliver thin, practical AR wearables, moving further with enterprise and consumer solutions every year or so. At this year’s CES, Vuzix is introducing a high-end enterprise solution called the M4000 Smart Glasses, described as “the most powerful optically see-through smart glasses built for enterprise customers” yet.
Based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR1 platform, the M4000 uses a waveguide display system, enabling users to see augmented digital content without any occlusion of real-world visuals. Though the company’s existing $1,800 M400 remains a viable AR solution for many industries, Vuzix says the new model’s optical see-through technology is appropriate for specific businesses — including critical manufacturing and remote assistance apps — that require transparent, non-occluded overlays.
While it’s fairly complex and expensive today, and thus suitable for enterprise use, waveguide technology is expected to power future consumer AR solutions as well. Beams of light are projected inside transparent lenses in a manner that makes digital content — if synchronized to the user’s head motions — appear to merge with real objects and backgrounds. Otherwise, the digital imagery appears to float within scenes.
The M4000 is expected to enter volume production in summer 2020 and ship at a $2,499 price point. Since they share the Snapdragon XR1 platform, applications developed for the M400 should be compatible with the M4000.