San Francisco, CA (STL.News) Are those the newest pair of Ray-Bans? No, but they certainly have a fashion-forward look that could fool any trendy glasses-wearing individual. However, the pair we are talking about has much more than what meets the eye, pun intended. Introducing, Vaunt, the smart glasses created by Intel.
A LOOK BEYOND THE LENS
Intel’s glasses seem like any other modern specs, with matte black, thick rims. That is, until you put them on. The right stem of the glasses contains a red, vertical-cavity, surface-emitting laser that projects images onto the right lens, which reflects back into the retina. We know what you are probably thinking. A laser shooting into my eye? No thanks, I’ll pass. However, there is no need to worry about the idea of a laser in such a close proximity to the eye. The laser is low power enough that it poses absolutely no harm to the individual wearing the glasses.
Jerry Bautista, the Vice President and General Manager of the New Devices Group at Intel explains the process. “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”, Bautista says.
This means that there is no need to focus on the image; rather, the image comes to the eye always in focus. The glasses also contain an accelerometer and a compass so it can track direction and head movements. When shifting focus in the individual’s line of vision, even slightly, the image will disappear automatically, so there is no distraction. The Vaunt also has built in Bluetooth for communication with one’s phone. As of right now, the glasses do not contain a microphone; however there may be one in the future models that could be compatible with intelligence such as Amazon’s Alexa.
THROWING COMPETITORS SHADE
Less is more for Vaunt, when it comes to the amount of gadgets implemented into the glasses.
Unlike similar products such as Google Glass, there is no camera or buttons to push when wearing Vaunt. Instead of having to swipe to see a notification, the individual can simply turn their head and the image will slide in. Similarly, if the person turns the other way and the image will dismiss effortlessly. Plus, looks wise, you won’t look like a robot or cyborg.
Itai Vonshak, head of products for Intel’s New Devices Group, or NDG, explains the reasoning behind opting for a simpler design stating “Head-worn products are hard because people assign a lot of attributes to putting something on their head. We wanted to make sure somebody puts this on and gets value without any of the negative impact of technology on their head… everything from the ground up is designed to make the technology disappear”. These glasses can be worn both inside, and outside, and all day with a battery life of roughly 18 hours per charge.
Although the Vaunt is just in the prototype stage, there is a lot of hype surrounding this specific pair of glasses. In the upcoming months, the future of Vaunt will be in the hands of potential software developers to continue the concept. Watch closely, because this technology is sure to be coming our way.