Intel has produced some very smart glasses known as Vaunt. Intel’s Vaunt smart glasses look a lot less like a Borg appliance (Google Glass) and more like everyday eyeglasses. So what makes them special? It’s not what you see, but rather what you don’t see. Intel appears to have applied a less is more philosophy to the Vaunt smart glasses. There is no camera, or mic, or LCD screen, no tapping, or gestures required. What the wearer sees is where the magic is.
What You See
The wearer sees data being beamed directly onto their retina. This is done with a monochrome projector and the use of a VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser). This is a safe, very low power, level one laser. The text is red and images use retinal projection. The data is projected onto a holographic grating that is embedded in the glass, which is then projected into the retina. Data is only visible in the lower part of the glass so you will not see projections if you are looking elsewhere.
Since there is no tapping or gestures, eye movement, in part, is what controls what the wearer sees. For example, when a notification comes up you can simply dismiss it by glancing to the left or move to the next item by glancing to the right.
Intel has been working hard to have Vaunt send you contextually relevant information. The technology uses behavioral AI to anticipate what information you would be interested in seeing at any given moment. Perhaps based on your location or something you are interested in. Let’s say you’re in the kitchen and ask Alexa to show you a particular recipe. The recipe shows up in the glasses. Great, no more flour on my iPad.
If you wear prescription lenses they are used to see the real world around you but the data is beamed directly to your retina so poor natural vision is not a problem.Vaunt is Bluetooth enabled and will pair with iPhone and Android smartphones, which is where the heavy lifting occurs.
Dieter Bohn from The Verge was invited to Intel to have an exclusive first look at Vaunt. He says, “The prototypes I wore in December also felt virtually indistinguishable from regular glasses. They come in several styles, work with prescriptions, and can be worn comfortably all day. Apart from a tiny red glimmer that’s occasionally visible on the right lens, people around you might not even know you’re wearing smart glasses.”
Call To Developers
Later this year there will be an early access program to Vaunt for developers. Intel is taking a sensible approach to this wearable.
You can read Dieter’s entire article here and check out the video in the article.