Intel's New Smart Glasses Look Positively Normal

Feb 07, 2018, 00:51
Intel's New Smart Glasses Look Positively Normal

The likely sales channel is the the optician/prescription glasses stores, as they already offer the necessary services to get Intel's Vaunt fitted for your vision.

One of the biggest hurdles Google faced with Google Glass (and, similarly, Snap faced with Spectacles) was that the glasses looked like something from a sci-fi movie. From the outside, Vaunt looks just like a normal pair of prescription glasses that can be worn comfortably all day. Intel has high hopes that developers will find interesting ways to use the platform and most of it.

Intel has managed to tuck in the electronics in the sterns and control a very low-powered laser that projects a red, monochrome 400 x 150 resolution image into the user's eyes. That image is sent to the back of the eyeball, directly to the retina. The image thus created is reflected right on the person's retina and hence gets to see the latest notifications available. The Vaunt can also prompt your location and direction and future models might witness the integration of a microphone that will sync perfectly with voice assistants such as Siri or Alexa. While the idea of smart glasses may not be a concept consumers outright reject, the message was made clear that the smart glasses they want should look like the glasses they already own.

While you may not stick out in a crowd wearing Vaunt, you're not going to overwhelm anyone with its power, either.

There's no floating LCD display or touch-sensitive arms or even a microphone, though the device is now a prototype so who knows what it'll look like if it ever gets to market.

Further, the motion sensors in the glass can detect the location of the user in the house. Without a speaker or vibrate mode to notify you, I couldn't help but wonder if that would mean a bunch of missed information. "If it's priced similar to a premium smart watch, then there'll be some potential there". Still, this is unlikely to stop developers from getting their hands on the first version before the year is out.

"The device is too simplistic for any visually intensive applications", Abbruzzese said. Eastwood stated that smart glasses usually have batteries integrated into the entire system making the glass very rigid and inconvenient for a user to adjust to the head size.

Moving to the safety aspect, Intel says that VCSEL is a low powered laser that won't affect much to the user's eyes.

There are some advantages of not having a camera, however. In addition, the entire setup weighs only 50 grams, allowing to sit comfortably on the bridge of your nose and drape around your ears.