No Glassholes: Intel's New Smart Specs Ditch Camera


Smart glasses are a big hit and miss, with companies as big as Google trying and failing and others taking out wacky looking glasses that is a big turn off to put on your head.

Later this year, Intel plans to launch an "early access program", giving developers the chance to try out its Vaunt glasses, and start creating apps that work with them.

The Verge was given exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the smart glasses, which are a product of Intel's New Devices Group (NDG).

Intel Vaunt uses a very low-powered laser to project a monochrome image of around 400 x 150 pixels.

In a demo, the company also showed how Vaunt can project a person's info and their birthdays while you are chatting with them on your phone.

Although the new smart glasses are still in developments stage and could be a lot different when it finally hit the shelves, it will be interesting to see the fate of the device in the coming days, considering what happened to the Google Glass.

Days after Bloomberg's report went live, The Verge's Dieter Bohn posted a video showing off a physical prototype of the Vaunt smart glasses. There is no camera to scare people out, no glowing LCD screen, no button to push, no gesture zone to swipe, no speaker, and no microphone, at least for now.

With most AR glasses, people around you can clearly see if you're checking notifications or watching YouTube during a meeting. Other sensors that Vaunt comes integrated with include compass, an accelerometer, as well as an app processor. The Vaunt will connect with both iOS and Android devices to pull the wearer's notifications, similar to a smartwatch. Also, the display would not be visible unless the user looks at it. This is all made possible by a package of electronics that's located in the stem of the glasses. Right now the prototype lacks a microphone, but future products may feature one so it can work with voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant.

The laser is pretty cool in that its images can be viewed clearly even if the wearer has poor eyesight and is wearing prescription lenses. Still, this is unlikely to stop developers from getting their hands on the first version before the year is out. They are rolling out a program now to get developers test units, which could fix numerous hurdles Vaunt will have to overcome to be a marketable product. Unlike Glass and Spectacles, Vaunt gives you a very simple, minimal heads-up display that only gives you context-essential information.

Now it looks like Intel is ready to take a shot at Smart Glasses concept and from what we have seen, it sure does look promising.