Away from the hype around Facebook's smartglasses, the high-end fascination with the Microsoft HoloLens, and the unending rumors about Apple's AR wearable is the small but powerful darling of the enterprise AR world—Vuzix.
Well, now we're getting an inside look at where the wearable magic happens at the Vuzix factory based in unlikely confines upstate New York.
The tour is guided by none other than Vuzix CEO Paul Travers (a member of the NR30), who takes us deep into the component-laced caverns of the company's manufacturing facility.
What's unique about the facility is that it, in Travers' own words, produces Vuzix products from "soup-to-nuts." From the cleanrooms, to the testing and production of waveguides and smartglasses frames, the facility, which was created in 2015, is an all-in-one shop, allowing Vuzix the freedom and nimbleness to attack the market quicker than some of its biggest competitors.
In addition to taking us behind the scenes and letting us meet some of the people behind Vuzix, the tour also gives a couple of new glimpses of the next-generation wearable from the company. Based on the tidbits from the company over the past year, the device promises to offer augmented reality in a glasses frame that looks mostly indistinguishable from a normal pair of glasses.
To that end, the tour also gives us a look at the company's holographic optics lab, where the team tests some of its more cutting=edge waveguide development.
Beyond the technology and the people, on a business level, what Vuzix is doing is pretty unique. Over the past couple of decades, many US-based tech startups have come to rely on overseas manufacturing to execute their vision. But Vuzix is an outlier, with its entire device manufacturing process based in Rochester, New York.
"When we need something done at Vuzix, instead of going halfway around the world to try to find an expert that can do it, we just walk down the hall," says Travers during one part of the video tour (see above). "These people work here. we're on the edge of very exciting times here at Vuzix, and the future is literally being designed by the team right here, right now."