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Vuzix narrows focus with 'expansive' cost reduction program

25 Jan 2024

Rochester-based supplier of augmented reality glasses looking to cut operating spend by a quarter.

Vuzix, the Nasdaq-listed provider of augmented reality (AR) glasses, has confirmed plans to make widespread cost-cuts to its business, including staff reductions and a narrower product focus.

The Rochester, New York, company is aiming to reduce annual spending by a quarter, equivalent to $8 million, and will focus its efforts on “select” AR smart glasses products, as well as technology development and its OEM business.

News of significant operational spending cuts were trailed back in November, when Vuzix announced a quarterly loss of $11 million after sales dropped nearly 40  per cent year-on-year, to just $2.2 million.

At the time, CEO Paul Travers said that the firm would look to cut costs by as much as 20 per cent - a figure now exceeded. As of September 30 last year, Vuzix held $38 million in cash and equivalent assets.

“Our focus is on improving the ability to deliver on more breakthroughs in OEM products and services, as well as the realization of related technology investments,” the CEO now says.

“As a result, we've identified opportunities to reduce or discontinue investments in certain areas while maintaining our investment and focus on initiatives that should deliver the most impact long-term.

“These organizational changes will include reductions of our global staff across all major areas of our business, including sales and marketing; general and administrative; research and development; and manufacturing overhead."

Prescription options under discussion
Vuzix also announced that its sales in the closing quarter of 2023 were around $2.1 million, with Travers adding:

“We have long discussed the lumpiness of smart glasses orders and engineering services. We are very optimistic about Vuzix' long-term prospects, including our increasing focus on our core technology for OEM and white label programs.

“The company currently has the largest OEM engineering services and related products order book in its history and realizing the revenue from it is related to timing on deliveries and hitting certain milestones.”

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Vuzix revealed its latest “Z100” set of AR glasses, built around the existing “Ultralite” OEM platform and aimed at enterprise applications.

“The Z100 takes enterprise use of AR smart glasses to the next level, providing workers with a hands-free wearable that is indistinguishable from a pair a standard glasses," said Travers at the time.

“This rollout is in overwhelming response to interest expressed by enterprise customers in an attractive and lightweight pair of smart glasses that can augment current workflows with AI optimization software.

“There are customers across numerous market verticals and use cases that we believe will embrace this product as a fashionable and affordable productivity device that workers will enjoy wearing all day every day.”

• Vuzix CEO Paul Travers is scheduled to speak during next week’s SPIE AR/VR/MR event taking place alongside SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco.

As part of a plenary session on January 30, Travers will discuss technical trade-offs and considerations faced by smart glasses providers as they look to support broader market demand - with a particular focus on prescription options for people who already wear glasses for sight correction.

LASEROPTIK GmbHTRIOPTICS GmbHBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationSPECTROGON ABHÜBNER PhotonicsUniverse Kogaku America Inc.LaCroix Precision Optics
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