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Intel Abandons Vaunt AR Smartglasses

Accepted submission by takyon at 2018-04-19 11:01:53
Techonomics

+hardware

Intel will shut down its New Devices Group, spelling an end [engadget.com] to the company's Vaunt smartglasses project:

When Intel showed off its Vaunt smart glasses (aka "Superlight" internally) back in February, we had high hopes for a new wave of wearable tech that wouldn't turn us into Borgs. Alas, according to The Information's [theinformation.com] source, word has it that the chip maker is closing the group responsible for wearable devices which, sadly, included the Vaunt. This was later confirmed by Intel in a statement, which hinted at a lack of investment due to "market dynamics." Indeed, Bloomberg had earlier reported that Intel was looking to sell a majority stake [engadget.com] in this division, which had about 200 employees and was valued at $350 million.

To avoid the awkwardness that doomed the Google Glass [engadget.com], Intel took the subtle approach by cramming a retinal laser projector -- along with all the other electronic bits, somehow -- into the Vaunt's ordinary-looking spectacle frame; plus there was no camera on it. The low-power projector would beam a red, monochrome 400 x 150 pixel image into the lower right corner of one's visual field, thus eliminating the need of a protruding display medium.

Vaunt is what you get when your committee is too scared of the "Glasshole" fiasco to make a useful product. Publicity-seeking bar owners and violent malcontents could easily identify Google Glass because of its protruding head-mounted display and hardware, as well as the camera indicator light. Build the SoC and any flat buttons directly into a black frame, put small camera lenses at the hinges and/or center, use retinal laser projection or make the lenses into full field of view displays, and remove the indicator light. Then you don't have a "Glasshole" problem (maybe just a "Glasshole").

Also at The Verge [theverge.com], ZDNet [zdnet.com], and AppleInsider [appleinsider.com].

Previously: Intel Unveils "Vaunt" Smartglasses [soylentnews.org]


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