INTEL MADE SMART GLASSES THAT LOOK NORMALF
Exclusive first look at Vaunt, which uses retinal projection to put a display in your eyeball
Excerpt via Verge
The most important parts of Intel’s new Vaunt smart glasses are the pieces that were left out.
There is no camera to creep people out, no button to push, no gesture area to swipe, no glowing LCD screen, no weird arm floating in front of the lens, no speaker, and no microphone (for now).
From the outside, the Vaunt glasses look just like eyeglasses. When you’re wearing them, you see a stream of information on what looks like a screen — but it’s actually being projected onto your retina.
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.
Like Google Glass did five years ago, Vaunt will launch an “early access program” for developers later this year. But Intel’s goals are different than Google’s. Instead of trying to convince us we could change our lives for a head-worn display, Intel is trying to change the head-worn display to fit our lives.
One of the Vaunt team’s primary design goals was to create a pair of smart glasses you could wear all day. Vaunt’s codename inside Intel was “Superlite” for a reason: they needed to weigh in under 50 grams. That’s still more than most eyeglasses by a noticeable margin, but Google Glass added an extra 33 grams on top of whatever pair you were wearing. Anything more and they’d be uncomfortable. The electronics and batteries had to be placed so they didn’t put too much weight on either your nose or your ears. They had to not just look like normal glasses, they had to feel like them.
That’s why all of the electronics in Vaunt sit inside two little modules built into the stems of the eyeglasses.
More importantly, though, the electronics are located entirely up near the face of the frames so that the rest of the stems, and even the frame itself, can flex a little, just like any other regular pair of glasses.
Other smart glasses have batteries that are integrated into the entire stem, “so those become very rigid and do not deform to adjust to your head size,” says Mark Eastwood, NDG’s industrial design director. “It’s very important when you look at eyewear that it deforms along its entire length to fit your head.”