February 8, 2023

“No one wants to look like the guy who just stepped off the Starship Enterprise,” Paul Travers, president of eyewear maker AR Vuzix, tells me.

You’re being polite here, so I’ll say what you won’t say: It’s hard to use the current VR and AR headset for more than an hour. They are heavy! Microsoft Hololen It’s really cool, but at a pound and a half, it’s a lot of headgear to wear. Y magic jump It’s cool, sure, but they look weird when you’re wearing them.

Vuzix has the answer. A CES 2023, the company introduced the new Ultralite AR glasses, ordinary-looking plastic frames with a tiny projector tucked into one stem and a tiny battery and Bluetooth radio in the other. Combine that with Vuzix’s waveguides, a coating on the glasses that deflects light from the projector back into your line of sight, and you’ve got an ordinary-looking glasses that do the extraordinary.

Jeremy Kaplan wears Vuzix glasses

The author with sunglasses enhanced with Vuzix Ultralite technology, proof that the AR glasses clan looks like ordinary glasses and still does the extraordinary. (Image credit: Jeremy Kaplan/Future)

I put on the Vuzix Ultralite and saw in the corner of the right lens a line of green text, the kind you’d see on old mainframe computers in the movie War Games. It was sharp, perfectly legible, and bright as day. It was a real-time transcript of what another Vuzix staff member was saying; the device is equally adept at showing directions, with arrows indicating where you should travel, training status, text messages, and so on.

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