Vizix Reveal Google Glass Challenge With New Augmented Reality Goggles

While Google’s much-anticipated technological development in the form of ‘Google Glass‘ has reportedly been delayed for release until ‘early 2013′, it appears that they might not have the ‘augmented reality glasses‘ market to themselves for too long, as fellow American company Vuzix have revealed their plans to release the ‘Star 1200 XL’ headwear product.

Founded in 1997, the Rochester-based company develop and sell new forms of technology along with computer software, but seem to specialise in ‘wearable’ items, with 3D gaming, military hardware (such as night-vision goggles) and immersive augmented reality amongst the most notable achievements in their history.

Taking on the full name of ‘Star 1200 XL Wide Field of View See-Through Augmented Reality Video Eyewear’, their newest piece of hardware will follow on from their ‘original’ Star 1200 set, which itself featured a range of augmented reality features, though with a pricetag of $5,000 and a fairly niche market at the time, Google have taken most of the limelight this year with their high-profile announcements, planned pricing of $1,500, and generally smoother-looking device.

The newer edition will look to offer similar features to Google’s planned real-world overlay service, with the headlining items of interest being its VGA (video graphics array), a ‘3DOF’ motion-tracking sensor, ‘component and composite video support’, and a camera built-in to provide real-world mapping and the basis for a ‘3D overlay’ of computer generated content.

Vuzix CEO Paul J Travers said of the release: “Building on Vuzix’s advances in both its optics and tracking technology, we have been able to deliver affordable AR-enabled see-through head mounted displays. The Star 1200 XL’s WFOV performance and upgraded camera enable more of the real world to be augmented, bringing a more encompassing AR experience. This new Star XL includes many advanced features that our customers have been asking for and we expect them to be used for a wide variety of applications.”

While they will not be released to anywhere near as much fanfare as Google’s upcoming product, will the competition help drive the Vuzix Star 1200 XL to become more successful than their fairly below-the-radar first attempt at augmented reality glasses?

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