Until now, Google Glass‘s $1,500 sticker is pretty much out of reach for an average person. If you’re in the market for an alternative this holiday season, the prosumer version of the Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses might be worthy of an investigation. Though, at $999.99 it is still consider a significant investment – that’s if you can even call it an investment. Anywho, for that price, you will get yourself a custom eyewear made by Rochester Optical and a detachable smart unit where all the magic happens. The eyewear itself sports a set of non-prescribed safety glasses, but it can be upgraded to the user’s prescription if desired at over 13,000 optical partner stores of Rochester Optical. That’s the glasses. As for the smart functionality unit, you will find an OMPA4460 at 1.2GHz, backed by 1GB RAM and a WQVGA (i.e. 400 x 240 resolution) display hanging upfront providing 15-deg field of view equivalent to a 4″ mobile display viewed at 14 inches.
Other basics you may have come to expect from a high-tech augmented reality glasses includes Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi connectivity, built-in 5MP camera with 1080p recording capability (frame rate was not disclosed, but our bet is on 30), 4GB storage, expandable storage via microSD card slot (supports up to 32GB) and noise canceling microphone, plus the usual slew of sensors necessary for head-tracking, navigation and such. The unit gets a 550 mAh rechargeable battery, affording up to 6-hours of usage, but significantly shorter (like 2 hours) with display on. If longer operation time is required, there is an external battery pack with 3,800 mAh that will bump up the usage time up to 6.5 times, but that will no doubt bulk the device up a little.
Since the unit is removable, it can be adapted to be used with either left or right eye and oh, it runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.04. The use of the M100 Smart Glasses requires you to pair it to your smartphone or WiFi connection (but works as a standalone device with existing apps too), and uses voice and hand gesture to do things like texting, emailing, mapping, and let you enjoy the awesomeness of augmented reality through the integrated display and computing system. Basically, the use is pretty much up to you to explore.