Chipmaker Intel is jumping in the complicated smart glasses market. The company is working on a pair of smart glasse called Vaunt, which aim to fix most of the issues that plagued the smart glasses from other companies like Google.
According to a report in The Verge, the things that make Vaunt interesting is not what is available in the device, but what Intel has left out. Intel Vaunt doesn’t feature any kind of cameras, speakers, microphones (for now), trackpad or a screen. Intel’s version is a simple device that is remarkably similar to your normal eyewear, but includes the necessary components to provide you with little bits of relevant and timely information.
Intel Vaunt will be offered in various styles, with or without prescription lenses. Intel claims that Vaunt can be worn the entire day and it will look like you are wearing normal glasses. You can choose to focus on the information provided by Vaunt or ignore it and go on with your day.
“We wanted to make sure somebody puts this (Vaunt) on and gets value without any of the negative impact of technology on their head. Everything from the ground up is designed to make the technology disappear,” Itai Vonshak, head of products for Intel’s New Devices Group told The Verge.
Intel Vaunt weigh less than 50 grams and pretty much everything needed to make it functional is placed in the stems.
What does Vaunt show and how?
Intel Vaunt uses a very low-powered laser to project a monochrome image of around 400 x 150 pixels. This image is projected onto a holographic reflector on the glasses’ right lens, which then reflects it directly onto the retina. The image appears in your peripheral vision, so it won’t distract the users from what they are looking at. Intel claims that the laser is super-safe. It is low-powered and if classified will land at the very bottom end of a class one laser. As per the official standards, any Class 1 laser is safe under all conditions of normal use.
The hardware packed inside the smart glasses has been completely custom-designed by Intel. Vaunt will use Bluetooth to communicate with your smartphone, whether it is Android or iOS, similar to how smartwatches do. The companion app present on your phone will provide the glasses with the relevant information to show you.
Although it is the developers, who will come up with interesting and new use cases for Intel Vaunt, Intel says that the device can be used to show you simple messages like directions, notifications, recipes and similar stuff.
The current iteration of Vaunt doesn’t include a microphone, but future versions may add it to help users ask Vaunt questions, like you do with Alexa or Google Assistant. The responses will appear in front of your eyes.
Like any other smart device, Intel Vaunt also includes a battery, which the company claims will last around 18 hours, making them last effectively a full day of normal use.
These are still early days for Vaunt. Intel is hoping to launch an early-access program later this year, which will give developers the access to the device, so that they can start tinkering and come up with cool new apps.
We will have to wait for actual availability or pricing details. Intel still needs to figure out stuff like who is actually going to make the consumer version, how these will be sold and more.