Gadgets

Intel wants smart glasses to be a thing


Over the years, we’ve seen folks try and fail at the smart glasses game. Google Glasses never had a chance, and even the Snap Spectacles heyday has come to an end. But that’s not stopping Intel from getting in on the fun.

The glasses are called Vaunt, first seen by the Verge, and they are nearly indistinguishable from regular glasses. Instead of some cumbersome headset with a special screen, Intel’s Vaunt glasses are simple plastic frames that weigh under 50 grams (nearly the exact weight of Snap Spectacles). The smart glasses work with prescription and non-prescription lenses, and there is no camera equipped.

To any onlooker, you might just be wearing a pair of Warby Parkers.

But on the inside of the stems sits a low-powered class one laser, as well as a processor, an accelerometer, a Bluetooth chip and a compass.

This laser, which Intel says is “so low-power that it’s at the very bottom end of a class one laser,” emits a red, monochrome image into your eye at 400 x 150 pixels.

The image might let you know it’s someone’s birthday, send notifications from your phone, or the glasses might detect that you’re in the kitchen and send you a recipe. Because the laser is beaming directly into your retina, the image is always in focus.

While future models might be equipped with a microphone and access to smart assistants like Alexa or Siri, the first-gen Vaunt models will be controlled through subtle motion gestures like a nod of the head. Intel wants these glasses to fit into your life as naturally as possible.

While it’s unclear just how the Vaunt glasses will come to market, Intel has said that the OEM route is a more likely strategy than Intel selling these specs themselves.

And, relatedly, Intel will be opening up the platform to developers with the launch of an early access program and SDK.

While it’s unclear if a product like this has wings in the market, Intel’s Vaunt currently represents the most promising version of ‘smart glasses’ we’ve yet seen. However, this project is in the very early stages of development, so there’s no telling when, or even if, this comes to fruition in a meaningful way.

Featured Image: courtesy Vjeran Pavic/The Verge


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