BlackBerry Enters Wearable Segment, Partners With Vuzix For Smart Glasses

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BlackBerry has entered into a partnership with Vuzix to improve the Vuzix M300 Smart Glasses. With the partnership, the Waterloo-based company is expanding its BlackBerry UEM software (Unified Endpoint Management). The new smart glasses will come in handy for IT departments by helping them manage and secure data that’s accessed and captured, according to CrackBerry.

BlackBerry UEM for Vuzix M300 Smart Glasses

Paul Travers, President and CEO of Vuzix, said that the company is excited to “partner with BlackBerry, a global leader in secure operating systems, mobile communications and mobile device management, to deliver secure and simple applications to the BlackBerry’s enterprise customers built around the Vuzix M300 Smart Glasses.”

In a press release, Vuzix said that BlackBerry UEM will enable its customers to manage wearable enterprise in ways other than via devices such as tablets, smartphone and laptops on a trusted and secure platform. Further, BlackBerry UEM supports all major operating systems, offering better control, flexibility and visibility.

Mark Wilson, SVP and chief evangelist for BlackBerry, stated that with the increase in devices and connection points, IT departments are tasked with not only maintaining the security of their data but also offering a unified workspace for employees.

“We’re excited to partner with Vuzix to provide an innovative solution that will improve productivity and most importantly help keep people and information safe,” Wilson said.

In 2014, CEO John Chen did hint that the Canadian firm was keen to enter the category, and he restated the same in the beginning of this year. Previously, it was expected that there would be a BlackBerry smartwatch in the market, notes Wareable.

BlackBerry KeyOne – what’s next?

Meanwhile, the BlackBerry KeyOne is hogging all the limelight due to its unique keyboard feature. While the latest smartphone received mixed reviews from critics and analysts, the company hinted that a new surprise will be coming during the Berlin IFA.

A short teaser a few days ago showed the text “BlackBerry KeyOne” in the beginning of the video with a black theme throughout. There are reports that the teaser suggests a new KeyOne variant, which might be launched during the event in Berlin.

Shares of the company are up 32% in 2017 as investors have recognized BlackBerry’s transition from hardware to software. Further, the company is looking to enter the next-generation auto industry. However, Goldman Sachs analyst Gabriela Borges believes the stock is fundamentally overvalued, so she reiterated her Sell rating on the stock.

Borges believes that achieving earnings targets in the second half of the year will not be easy for BlackBerry, given the enterprise mobility competition from VMWare, Microsoft and Citrix Systems. Borges does not expect much from the auto business for now.

The Goldman analyst also believes that there could be buyout possibilities for the company as its better balance sheet improves, but she believes the stock could go downhill in the second half of the year. BlackBerry expects just 8% growth in software and services in the second half of the year, compared to Wall Street’s estimated 22% growth.

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