The tech giant Intel finally took the cover of their experimental next-generation smart glasses. ‘Vaunt‘ as the company calls it is an incredibly lightweight smart glass and is nothing like a Google Glass with the ‘glasshole’ effect, instead it is intelligently designed to stay “indistinguishable” from regular specs.
Many companies tried out in the smart glasses game but failed as no one wants to get noticed in public wearing an awkward chunky looking frame with a camera and special screen making a negative impact on the social cost.
Intel aims to completely change this scenario by introducing Vaunt smart glasses that are simple plastic frames that weigh under 50 grams just a bit more than your regular spectacles with no clunky camera, LCD screen, speaker, and gesture controls of its predecessors.
Vaunt projects simples heads-up notifications using VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser), a very low-powered class one laser that shines red and projects a 400 x 150 pixel monochrome image onto a ‘holographic reflector’ on the right lens just out of the normal line of sight, it always remains in focus.
Basically, the laser is directly reflected onto the back of your eye retina which helps it to ensure that the content is always in focus, whether you are wearing prescription or non-prescription lenses.
The laser and other electronics are crammed into the face of the stems to keep the rest piece a little flexible. It is also equipped with compass, accelerometer and a Bluetooth chip that connects to both Android and iPhone.
The Vaunt will provide you with important notifications like phone calls and reminders, it will be able to detect if you are in the kitchen and will show you a recipe. It will also be able to provide you with nearby restaurant ratings and can guide you the way.
Dieter Bohn got his hands on a prototype version in December (via The Verge), he reports:
“The unit I saw was simply running through a demo loop of potential notifications and information you might see: walking directions, an incoming call, there aren’t any beeps or vibrations when the display switches or a notification comes in, but you do notice when it happens because the movement is noticeable in your peripheral vision.”
Intel is also planning to open up an early access program and offer software development kit to developers so that they can discover new possibilities with this tech.
The company will not likely bring the product to the market on its own, but instead, the OEM route will be a more likely strategy, much like it does with PCs and other hardware.
The Vaunt is clearly in its early stages of development but is still the most promising ‘smart glasses’ we have seen, it can’t do much but who knows where it could go when it comes to fruition. But one thing to bear in mind is that there’s a good chance Intel’s experimental tech may never properly make its way out of the lab just like other wearable experiments Intel made that didn’t go anywhere