Intel has come up with a fresh new take on smartglasses which fortunately aren’t anywhere close to the geeky or tech-oriented types we have had so far. Instead, Vaunt, as the smartglasses are so named, are much like any other prescription glasses currently in vogue.
That, however, does not undermine the tech credential of the Vaunt even though it misses out on several features which can well be considered quite unnecessary for smartglasses. So there is none of the camera or microphone attached to the frame, as it has been with Google Glasses launched in 2012.
Instead, the Vaunt comes with what Intel describes as a holographic reflector that is built into the right lens. There is also a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser which essentially is a low power laser, enough to be considered safe for viewing by the human eye.
The working principle is unique too as the laser source projects a red colored image onto the holographic reflector. The image thus created is reflected right on the person’s retina and hence gets to see the latest notifications available. There also are no other mechanisms such as a vibrator or a beep sound to make the user aware of incoming notifications.
Instead, the person has the feeling of a tiny red-colored something happening on their right lens just out of the eye sight. The notification is then reflected right on the user’s retina. Intel said there are no privacy issues either as it is only the user who gets to see the notifications, and none else. Other sensors that Vaunt comes integrated with include compass, an accelerometer, as well as an app processor. It also gets to pair up with an Android or iPhone using Bluetooth technology.
The whole Intel smartglasses project is, however, more of a technology demonstrator sort of thing with the chip maker unlikely to reach markets with it anytime soon. Rather, the company would perhaps like others to take the concept further and build on it to create suitable consumer-oriented devices.
It also isn’t clear how Vaunt can fit into our current lifestyle where we make do with smartphones and perhaps smartwatches at the most. Vaunt like devices, it seems, can be even more personal than either of these with likely usage scenario as presumed in a video released by Intel showing the smartglasses showing a recipe or displaying flight information as the user is entering an airport.
Cool, that is but pricing or availability is anybody’s guess at the moment.