Smartglasses seem to be the next big thing in wearable technology. This Techspirited article brings you the comparison of the biggest names in this industry, Google Glass vs. Vuzix M100 smart glasses.
Bearing the Weight of the Smartglasses!
The initial prototype of Google Glass weighed a massive 3 kg!
Move over smartphones, it is now time for the smartglasses to shine! I remember a time, not too long ago, when wearing glasses would make you look like a nerd. Over time though, with hours and hours of working on the computer, watching TV all day long, constantly being glued to your smartphone screen, and then scores of sleepless nights, glasses have become rather mainstream and have even become a style statement.
Then, in early 2013, Google Glass came along and changed the way we viewed the world, quite literally so. The augmented reality glasses were the first of their kind and seemed like props right out of a sci-fi movie. Geeks around the world rejoiced at the launch of this surreal device, and everyone wanted to get their hands on one. Sadly though, these glasses aren’t commercially available just yet. Taking advantage of this sudden interest in smartglasses, Vuzix, a name associated with computer displays for more than a decade, launched its own smartglasses, the M100. So, is the newest contender to the title of the ultimate geeky device any good, or is the Google Glass just too good for it? Here’s finding out.
Vuzix M100 vs. Google Glass
Website: Google Glass
Google Glass is undoubtedly the most interesting piece of tech out there today. The glasses were released to a select group of Explorers (or glassholes, as the jealous world commonly knows them as!) who got to try them on. Google Glass packs an OMAP4430 SoC dual-core processor, supported by 1 GB of RAM. There’s also 16 GB (12 GB user accessible) of on board storage to save all information, images, and the creepy videos that you might bother to record with the Glass. The display features a prism projector which displays the images directly into the wearer’s eye. The images have a resolution of 640 x 360 pixels and seem like a 25-inch screen at a distance of 8 feet. The on board camera can record 720p videos, and capture 5 MP still images. Perhaps the coolest feature of Glass is the fact that it is almost completely controlled by voice commands. While that might not be a novel feature anymore, what sets Glass apart from the rest of its competition is the wide array of commands that it follows. A microphone catches all your commands, while the Glass sends audio cues via the bone conduction transducer. There’s also a touchpad by the side of Google Glass that lets users navigate through the screens. Glass is available with titanium frames in various colors. Google recently partnered with popular eyewear company Luxottica (owners of Ray-Ban and Oakley) to have even more frames being launched in the near future.
Google Glass weighs in at just 50 g, and is extremely flexible. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth, and there’s even a micro USB port in the mix. Glass needs the MyGlass companion to pull data from any Android 4.0.3+ or iOS 7+ phone. Being an open source platform ensures that there are plenty of apps available for Google Glass. You get all Google apps like Gmail, Hangouts, Google Maps, and even Google Now on Glass. According to our friends atEngadget, Google Glass makes it through about 5 hours of normal use before you scramble for the charger. Probably, the only chink in the armor of this mighty device is the fact that it heavily depends on the paired smartphone to pull up all the information. Glass Explorers picked up their Glass for USD 1,500. It is expected to retail for aboutUSD 1,000 when it launches commercially, sometime in 2014. You can read more about the features of Google Glass, here.
Website: Vuzix M100
Vuzix has been in the computer display industry for quite a while now. They are also known to produce personal display devices which aid augmented reality in gaming, and have also been involved in developing military tactical gear and equipment. The Vuzix M100 has the bragging rights of being the first commercially-available smartglass. Powered by a 1 GHz Texas instruments processor and 1 GB of RAM, the M100 sure does mean business. There’s also 4 GB of internal storage, which can be complemented by another 4 GB via Micro SD card. The monocle features a little above WQVGA (240 x 428 pixels) LCD that displays images as though they were displayed on a 24-bit true color 4-inch screen 14 inches away. That makes for incredibly sharp and bright images that are visible even in bright environment. The HD camera on the M100 captures videos and still images of surprisingly good quality. The captured videos can then be played back in lag-free Augmented Reality. The Vuzix M100 can act as a standalone device and even has an integrated GPS system. The device can pair with your smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0, and can even connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi. The smartglass displays notifications from the paired smartphone and can even manage your calendar.
A mono speaker relays the audio cues, while the microphone tunes into your commands. The device also features a range of sensors which can detect gestures. The power, volume, and selection buttons can also be found on the device. The USP of the M100 is that it runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and is compatible with a lot of existing Android apps. The battery on board the smartglass powers it for 2 hours of use and 6 hours of standby time. The battery life goes up by 6.5 times once you plug in the 3,800 mAh portable power pack that comes along with it. The device is mainly directed towards commercial users and is priced at about USD 1,000.
Both smartglasses bring in features that were until a few years ago part of sci-fi stories. These aren’t really competing against each other as they are targeted at completely different audiences; Google Glass is meant for the regular (uber-rich) users, while the Vuzix M100 is for industrial use. So, which of these do you think is the ultimate smartglass? Leave us a comment. Cheers.
Disclaimer: Prices mentioned are subject to change according to location and offers.