Intel has decided to let the world in on its secret smart glasses project which it’s calling Vaunt. The spectacles are deceptively simple looking, very different from the fancy Google Glass and loud Snap Spectacles which have preceded it.
That’s because the Vaunt is considerably low-tech compared to Google and Snap’s attempts. There’s no camera to secretly record people and the frames are made out of plastic to keep things at a light 50g. Future users can buy prescription and non-prescription lenses of the accessory as easily as they might purchase glasses at a store.
Intel’s ambitions appear to be pretty modest as of now. As per The Verge, its device contains a low-powered class one laser, processor, a Bluetooth chip, a compass, and an accelerometer. The laser projects a red image directly into the retina at a resolution of 400 x 150p.
Interestingly enough, this tiny screen is apparently only visible on the lower right of a person’s visual field. This means that if they’re not looking in that direction, the display disappears. This could make things a lot simpler for people worried about being distracted while wearing the Vaunt.
The lasers in the prototype currently project simple data like missed calls and other assorted notifications. Intel hopes this eventually grows beyond to more complex tasks like looking at a restaurant and having its Yelp page pop up.
The Vault has a long way to go before this happens though. Intel plans on adding a microphone so owners can talk to smart assistants like Siri or Alexa. For now, users can use their head to interact with the glasses. There’s no set date for its release yet.
Intel isn’t planning to sell the Vault itself. Instead, it’s looking to partner with a company to help bring it to the market. Till then, it’s going to open up the platform to developers through an early access program and SDK.