Vuzix Debuts Its M400 Smart Glasses, But You Can't Buy It - MWC 2019

Smart and Augmented Reality glass developer Vuzix launched its new enterprise smart glasses, the M400 during the Mobile World Congress today. The M400 is amongst the first products to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 platform. The Snapdragon XR1 was launched in May 2018 and it has been made from the grounds up for AR and VR headsets. Vuzix was one of the initial launch partners of Qualcomm and now the company finally has something to show for it.

Qualcomm seems to be rooting for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) and for good reasons. Per IDC, the user base for standalone headsets will increase to 186 million by 2023. Vuzix, on the other hand, has a vast experience when it comes to wearable devices and leveraging the capabilities of the XR1 could be just what it needed to increase the adoption of its wearables in the enterprise sector. On that note, it is worth mentioning that the M400 aren’t consumer-grade smart glasses and are intended to be used by the corporate sector.

Qualcomm believes that the prices of the current-generation AR/VR headsets are too high to encourage adoption and with the XR1 platform, such headsets would be a little more accessible. The XR1 platform draws inspiration from the Snapdragon 845 Xtended Reality (XR) platform, but XR1 headsets will not support room-scale tracking and eye tracking. However, they are great for simple video-based experiences, motion tracking, head tracking, native voice processing, and interactivity at affordable prices.

The Snapdragon XR1 platform is fitted with a Snapdragon chip that also supports the company’s Snapdragon XR Software Development Kit (SDK.) The XR1 features an ARM-based multi-core Central Processing Unit (CPU), Qualcomm AI Engine, vector processor, and Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). It also supports real-time processing of vision-based machine learning algorithms which can help with various Augmented Reality (AR) use cases.

Vuzix asserts that’s the M400 Smart Glasses have been made to be the best in their category. They offer improved noise canceling, have a larger memory profile and also have a multi-touchpad and built-in GPS. The company also says that the M400 is faster than all other solutions in the market. They are also billed as being really power efficient.

The Vuzix M400 will run the latest version of Android and also offer USB-C connectivity. It will also be compatible with the company’s other M-Series products. As mentioned before, the Vuzix M400 smart glasses are intended for enterprise consumers and can be useful for increasing employee productivity.

The mass production of the Vuzix M400 Smart Glasses will begin this summer and the company will reveal more details, including pricing, in spring. Since the product has been made for enterprises, it will probably be too expensive for an average consumer. However, this would be ironic, as the whole point behind the XR1 was to increase affordability. Select early adopters can also partake in an early engagement program which will be announced soon. The program would presumably enable the company to iron out any kinks before its officially released.

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Anam Hamid

Intern
I have been writing on tech since 2017 and what started as a side gig has now turned into a profession that I am immensely passionate about. A computer science graduate by education, I also enjoy reading and baking.
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