Just got the Vuzix Blade here at Kanda a rather good-looking piece of digital eyewear that doesn't look and feel like something that we all will laugh at in 5-10 years down the road, which cannot be said about some of the other AR "space helmets" available today. But I must say that my first thought when putting them on was a feeling of disappointment. Here I was expecting to get a nice stereoscopic view in the glasses but was met by a small field of view on a single screen in my right eye and had difficult to focus on the screen.
After a few minutes getting used to the single screen and the touch panel on the side, I was thinking of the possibilities with this piece of hardware. This is not a 6 DOF piece of high-end AR hardware, but rather an upgraded version of the Google Glass. But what I think is interesting with this, is that it is constructed to be good looking, comfortable piece of hardware, which you cannot say e.g. the HoloLens is. So, the area that I obviously see this working in, is for remote support. It is capable of Wi-Fi and with an 8MP camera in the front, this should be perfect for calling someone remotely and get their input while still having your hands free. Additionally, the camera is capable of scanning tags such as QR codes or barcodes which makes it possible to pull and show information based on the scan.
From a software development point of view it is simply an Android device, with a screen and a camera, so developing for this is pretty straight forward, and given the very short time I've had with the product and the tools at my disposal, I was able to create and deploy a very simple app the device within 30 minutes, meaning that no special SDKs or tools is needed.
What I think the Vuzix Blade can contribute with in the world of AR hardware, is an easy wearable hands-free screen that can be used for remote support or relevant information in front of your eye. So there are still some room for improvement in this space, and I am looking forward to the physical appearance of the Vuzix Blade combined with the technical features of the Microsoft HoloLens.
Pop by our office if you want to try them out.