It appears the ghost of smart glasses refuses to pass on to the other side. It merely refuses that it was supposed to die and move on when the plug was pulled on Google Glasses. Intel is the ghost-whisperer who is currently engaging the ghost, taunting it to come back to the mortal world. Intel is now working on releasing its version of the smart glasses, dubbed Vaunt.
There was a time (between 2013 – 2015) when Google Glasses caught the attention of the tech-savvy individuals across the world. Unfortunately, the smart glasses enthusiasm died soon as the user got their hands on it. The glasses simply was unable to elicit much interest from developers and journalists.
There was also the big issue with user’s privacy including the privacy of the people around the user. There were also concerns about health. To make matters worse, Google was selling the glasses at $1,500 to the early adopters, and as soon as the users got them, their interest took a nose dive. Leading to Google to stopping its production officially in 2015.
Intel wants to revive the smart glasses businesses, and it already has a prototype to showcase. The Intel smart glass Vaunt is said to have been built from the ground up while taking into consideration all the things that were wrong with Google Glasses.
From the looks, the Vaunt looks like your typical sunglasses; but one packing some Star-Trek-level-technology. Intel has fitted it with a Vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser, which beams a laser that creates a 400×150 pixels heads-on display. This technology will ensure you do not use the smart glass while doing activities that require your full attention; activities such as driving or handling dangerous machinery.
Intel can also adjust the laser according to the user’s field of view to ensure the projection does not beam in a way that you don’t want them. Intel further said it is not looking to revolutionize the industry, but rather enable you access information easily without necessarily having to take out your phone and other screens. Intel explains:
“We had to integrate very, very power-efficient light sources, MEMS devices for actually painting an image. We use a holographic grading embedded into the lens to reflect the correct wavelengths back to your eye. The image is called retinal projection, so the image is actually ‘painted’ into the back of your retina,” said Jerry Bautista, the lead for team building Vaunt at Intel’s NDG.
Intel also assures users that the laser being beamed by the device is low powered and poses no risks to your eyes. Intel says “It is a class one laser. It’s such low power that we don’t [need it certified] and in the case of [Vaunt], it is so low-power that it’s at the very bottom end of a class one laser.”
The device is reported will be ready for developers by the end of this year. Intel is very optimistic that developers will be very interested in developing for the platform.
But when it is all said and done, the big question still remains. Who is willing to buy a pair of glasses that only shows information partly on the screen? Though it does look much better than the Google Glasses, and very futuristic.