Intel develops new smart glasses that look like regular glasses

The Intel logo is shown at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 13, 2017. REUTERS/ Mike Blake

Intel has developed a new kind of smart glasses that was designed to look like any other eyeglasses. The prototype device lets the user see text and other information by projecting them directing onto their retina.

The new smart glasses, called Vaunt, can come in different styles, work with prescription lenses, and can be worn by the user all day, making them virtually indistinguishable from regular glasses, save for an occasional red glimmer on the right lens.

The Vaunt smart glasses do not include a lot of bells and whistles, allowing Intel to give it a minimalistic design. It does not have a camera that could be subject to debate regarding privacy and security, no LCD screen, no speaker, and no microphone. Since it is projected onto the user’s eyes, the stream of information that glasses provides is visible only to its user. With the design of the Vaunt glasses, Intel seems to be employing the “less is more” philosophy.

“We wanted to make sure somebody puts this on and gets value without any of the negative impact of technology on their head,” said Itai Vonshak, the head of Intel’s New Devices Group. “Everything from the ground up is designed to make the technology disappear.”

The smart glasses are designed to be a display for small, heads-up style information, like notifications or directions. The devices connect via Bluetooth to either an Android phone or an iPhone and get information from an app that runs in the background of the phone.

Intel’s new venture represents the most promising development in smart glasses since Google’s foray into the field five years ago with the Google Glass. However, instead of convincing people to change their lifestyle to fit the smart glasses, Intel wants to change smart glasses to fit people’s lifestyles.

Intel will be launching an early access program for the Vaunt later in the year, allowing developers to try out the smart glasses.