The Intel has developed a new pair of glasses, or rather smart-glasses which look almost like regular glasses – but they aren’t. Named as ‘Vaunt’, Intel’s new smart glasses comes with all-new prototypes including retina projection and motion gesture controls – a step ahead of Google Glass; but is it future? Well, let’s see.
The Vaunt, Intel’s smart glasses – they look like ordinary glasses, weighs about 50 grams which is heavier than regular spectacles that we are used to but lighter than Google Glass. Vaunt can sync with smartphones and are meant to provide sufficient and useful alerts and information to its wearer through retina projection – in a non-obstructive format that is invisible to others. To achieve this, Intel has designed the smart glasses in such a way that from its right arm, a low intensity beam of light shines and creates a red, monochrome image on a holographic reflector on the right lens of the glasses. Hence, the image then reflects directly onto the wearer’s retina. The good part, which makes it “non-obstructive” is that the image appears only when the wearer looks slightly below the normal line of vision.
There’s no built-in camera, there’s no computer or no fuss that could make it look and feel like a “creepy glasshole” – like Google Glass. Vaunt connects with smartphone via Bluetooth and delivers information to the user – no fuss, no clutter. Because it is so simple, Intel was able to get away with smashing it all into a much smaller and lighter package. So if you wear Vaunt, most people won’t immediately know that you have a HUD (Head-Up Display) strapped on your face – which is good, it is the first critical step in making HUD more adaptable to real life. I mean, nobody wants to look like a nerd wearing big ugly sci-fi devices onto their eyes and interacting with invisible computers. This makes Intel think they have figured it out.
But. Well, before move to the ‘but part’ let’s be clear. I want my smartphone device notifications and PC information directly projected into my eyeball so that I won’t require to go through the stress of taking out my smartphone and looking into it. I want to look at a restaurant and know if the food will be good. I want to shake hands with someone and instantly know their name. I want to check out Twitter feed or news feed with just a flicker of my eye. We all want it, after all, we all are the arses who are gleefully excited about cyberpunk high-tech future. And HUDs can be the thing that can fulfil this techy geeky dream of us arses. Sadly, seems like the perfect smart glasses are not developed yet.
Don’t get me wrong, Vaunt is good, but it is a pretty conservative one. There is no augmented reality – that too far, there’s not even more than just one colour! All it does is displaying monochrome red texts directly into the eyeballs. Just one colour, that is just sad and boring, right? Also, since everything is projected on the retina, each Vaunt has to be adjusted for every individual, which is okay but adjustments become helpless for people with bad eyesight. And, and, it doesn’t do anything more than just gathering up information that can be pulled off from your smartphone – nothing beyond that. So it can’t perceive and adjust with real world occurrences. Now that’s a bummer because Vaunt will not be able to tell me what kind of pasta I am eating when I look into the plate. But, that is fine, it is taking care of the crucial step – making futuristic HUDs adaptable to real life. At least, we won’t be looking geeky wearing them and tapping and fiddling around with, well, just a pair of spectacles that they are.