BlackBerry is making its first foray into the wearable category through a partnership with American technology firm Vuzix meant to create a smart glass that uses augmented reality as its cornerstone. Under the new partnership, BlackBerry will work to ensure the security of data captured and stored in the smart glass using its user environment management software while Vuzix will be responsible for the hardware side of things by providing its Vuzix M300 product. The goal of the partnership is to help facilitate communication among employees in a company, for example, while making sure that access to data is not interrupted by a load of current tasks performed by the user.
Vuzix, a Rochester, New York-based manufacturer of smart glasses and AR products, rolled out the Design Validation Test versions of the M300 smart glass in September last year to a small number of developers and enterprise users. The smart glass is powered by an Intel Atom processor and runs the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system. The wearable device comes with a touch pad, sensory speech recognition system and a GPS. Its field of view can span up to 20 degrees. Its brightness is measured at 2000 nits, with 24 bits of color. Under the hood, the smart glass includes 2GB of RAM and 64GB of internal flash memory. Vuzix also incorporated a 13-megapixel camera into the wearable device capable of recording videos with a resolution of 1080p. Other key features of the hardware are image stabilization, microphones with dual noise canceling capabilities, and a 100mAh battery. On the connectivity side, the M300 features a microUSB 2.0 HS, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac, MIMO 2×2, and Bluetooth 4.1/2.1+EDR.
With the addition of BlackBerry's UEM support to the smart glass, M300 customers will be able to handle the wearable device in a secure environment. BlackBerry, once a titan in the smartphone arena, made the decision to enter the AR space at a time when this category, along with the virtual reality segment, is expected to reach $37 billion by 2027, according to a report by market analysis firm IDTechEx. More updates about the partnership between BlackBerry and Vuzix will likely emerge in the coming months.