New Vuzix AR smartglasses spotted, showing off a design you'll actually want to wear

The startup looks set to launch a more traditional glasses design
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Startup Vuzix looks set to put its augmented reality tech into a pair of regular-looking glasses, beating the likes of Apple and Google in the race to smartglasses.

The more fashion-friendly specs were unveiled to the folks at Next Reality in the form of slides from a recent Vuzix investor presentation.

Essential reading: Apple AR smartglasses - what we know so far

The slides show off the unreleased Vuzix smartglasses, revealing a design that looks like a regular pair of specs from the front. When you see them from the side, we can see that the on-board smarts are built into the arms of the glasses. Those thicker arms will apparently also serve as touch interfaces to interact with viewable AR content, too.

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There isn't a lot of information regarding the actual inner workings of the glasses, but it seems Vuzix has apparently built its next generation glasses with Plessey, who will provide the microLED light source technology offering smaller and lighter optical systems than Vuzix's smartglasses competitors. The two companies entered into a long-term MicroLED supply agreement back in May, and it looks like this will be the first hardware that'll show us what they've been working on.

There's no details on pricing, full specs or a release date, either, but the full presentation is expected to be shared on the company's website in the coming days. This should naturally tell us a bit more about what we can expect.

What we can say right now, from these images, is that the new specs are a big design departure from Vuzix's Blade AR smartglasses, which launched this year for $999. The glasses were designed to overlay information such as GPS mapping, restaurant menus, weather information, sports updates, health data and more. The design, however, was chunky and by no means subtle.

Now, it looks like Vuzix has managed to shrink that tech into a slimmer form factor, which should now see it a better match up for startup North and its Focals smartglasses. It also means Vuzix, as we mentioned up top, is ahead of tech heavyweights like Apple, who we still believe is working on making its first entry into the AR smartglasses space over the next few years.

It's clear that Vuzix, who has been working in this space for a long time, is ahead of the pack, though. And we're intrigued to find out just how these smartglasses will actually work in practice.

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Michael Sawh

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Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.


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