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Intel's new prototype smart glasses don't look as bad as Google Glass

Intel gave a sneak peek at its new smart glasses concept called Vaunt. Unlike Google Glass and Snap Spectacles, the glasses look remarkably normal and have a very simple purpose.

Published onFebruary 5, 2018

  • Intel has developed a prototype set of smart glasses called Vaunt.
  • Unlike Google Glass and Snap Spectacles, Vaunt looks like a normal set of glasses.
  • The prototypes will be available to developers soon.

One of the biggest hurdles Google faced with Google Glass (and, similarly, Snap faced with Spectacles) was that the glasses looked like something from a sci-fi movie. While the idea of smart glasses may not be a concept consumers outright reject, the message was made clear that the smart glasses they want should look like the glasses they already own.

Intel has heard the voice of the consumer loud and clear, and developed a new type of smart glasses that look, well, normal.

The Intel prototype glasses go by the moniker Vaunt and take a different approach. Unlike Glass and Spectacles, Vaunt gives you a very simple, minimal heads-up display that only gives you context-essential information.

A tiny monochrome box is all you see when you put on a pair of Vaunt glasses, and the information displayed will be basic text. For example, if you are in the kitchen making cookies, you could have the recipe steps displayed to you, eliminating the need for you to consult your phone or tablet. If you are walking down the street of an unfamiliar city, walking directions to your destination would be shown as you make each turn.

The focus on interacting with the world through your glasses, such as Glass’ and Spectacles’ emphasis on photography and video recording, is not present in Vaunt. Intel’s intention is simply to give you access to data in a way that isn’t on your computer, smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch.

There are some major hurdles, though. For example, the way the glasses work requires a user to be specially fitted for their pair, making general public adoption a pretty hefty task. For people who need prescription glasses, they would also have to get their Intel Vaunt frames fitted with lenses, as Vaunt projects its monochrome images directly into your eye, not onto the frames’ glass.

But Intel knows this product is in its very early stages and is looking for ways to make Vaunt better. They are rolling out a program now to get developers test units, which could fix many of the hurdles Vaunt will have to overcome to be a marketable product.

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