Vuzix and Materialise will create smart glasses using 3D printing

Vuzix Corporation and Materialise NV have announced a collaboration to accelerate the design and production of smart glasses using 3D printing technology. The companies say their collaboration will enable sports and entertainment brands to quickly develop and bring to market functional, fashionable and affordable smart glasses, reducing the average production cycle from 18 months to just three.

Vuzix is an optical technology company that designs, manufactures and sells optical components and smart glasses. It uses augmented reality (AR) to balance the digital and real worlds. Vuzix claims that AR enhances the effectiveness of users across industries by connecting them to key information from the digital world while remaining touchless and fully aware of their physical surroundings. In medicine, AR glasses are used to access remote expertise during long operations, while in industrial production or logistics they are used to increase efficiency and reduce errors.

According to the companies, smart glasses have “transformed” workplaces, but consumer adoption has been limited due to a lack of compelling apps and fashionable and affordable designs. The collaboration aims to address these issues by creating “exciting and innovative” designs that will meet the needs of companies looking to bring fashionable and affordable smart glasses to consumers.

Consumer applications for Vuzix smart glasses include speed and heart rate displays for athletes, push notifications and navigation, speech-to-text translation, and AR gaming. Materialise and Vuzix say the collaboration will provide manufacturing companies with a flexible platform to design and build smart glasses, rapid prototyping services, and flexible low-volume production.

“With its speed, flexibility and digital DNA, 3D printing offers eyewear manufacturers a competitive advantage by allowing them to drastically reduce time-to-market while meeting customer aesthetic requirements,” said Fried Vancraen, CEO of Materialise. “We believe the collaboration with Vuzix will bring new innovations to industrial smart glasses and accelerate the adoption of smart glasses by customers in the business and broader consumer market.”


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