Vuzix targets mass market with new Blade AR glasses

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CES 2018, Las Vegas, will be the place where many new AR and VR products make their debut, with smart glasses being just one example of the kinds of interesting new products that'll be making their way onto the market.

Instead of adding a bulk of code to enable Alexa integration, Amazon claims that the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit enables OEMs to connect their Bluetooth audio-capable devices directly to the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) via the Amazon Alexa app on end users' mobile devices.

Amazon is pushing for Alexa to be integrated into pretty much everything, from cars to fridges, thanks to providing developers with the tools to easily fit the virtual assistant into their devices. The glasses will be available starting sometime during the second quarter, priced at $1,000.

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That range will include the Niro EV due to go on sale later this year, which Kia has previewed with a Concept machine at CES. Like the absence of a front cooling grille, here replaced by an interactive display panel and "ultra-slim lamp technology".

To use the features of Vuzix's AR glasses, Amazon says owners should be an Amazon subscriber first. So if the user asks Alexa for directions, it will display a map on the augmented reality screen, showing them the way.

Launched with Amazon Echo speaker family back in 2014, Alexa is now taking on Google Assistant with its recent debut in the market of smartphones. Throughout a year ago, Alexa was added to non-Amazon devices including the HTC U11, Huawei Mate 9 and a Moto Mod for the Motorola Moto Z series.

It's worth noting that Amazon and Apple aren't the first ones to bring AR glasses to the market. Or maybe you picked up an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot and are curious about smart locks that lock - and unlock - your front door by talking out loud. However, its expansion might give a tough competition to Siri that is already powering the Apple Watch in addition to its integration into iPhone and iPad. Brilliant is a touchscreen that replaces your light switch and has Amazon's assistant Alexa built in. Amazon has revealed that they're getting ready to bring Alexa outside of the Echo. The content can be managed with swipes and taps or voice controls. But both the companies are yet to showcase their developments.

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