The Vuzix Blade smart glasses will be the first powered by Amazon's Alexa, as unveiled at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.
The Vuzix Blade smart glasses will be the first powered by Amazon’s Alexa, as unveiled at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.

Vuzix will unveil a set of smart glasses powered by Alexa next week, as Amazon’s smart assistant continues to pose a threat to leading platforms from Apple and Google.

Shares of Vuzix popped as much as 13 percent on Friday afternoon on the news.

The $1,000 glasses are aimed at a “prosumer” market, like golfers, or business customers, the company said, but will eventually come down in price and incorporate new features.

Vuzix’s is one of many augmented-reality products expected out of CES, a Las Vegas consumer electronics trade show happening next week. Depending on their quality, availability, and price, these products could haunt Apple, which has planned its own smart speaker, and is reportedly working on augmented reality glasses.

(Augmented reality is where computerized images are projected on top of a live video image from the real world, while its cousin virtual reality completely embeds the user in a 360-degree computer-generated world.)

Voice assistants are key on smaller devices, like glasses, where swiping is impractical. But with Siri’s HomePod debut delayed, Alexa seems to be stepping into the augmented reality market through companies like Vuzix.

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