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Intel's Vaunt Augmented Reality Smartglasses Concept Lives on at Canadian Company North

Accepted submission by takyon at 2018-12-19 18:53:01

North has acquired the patents and tech behind Intel's Vaunt AR glasses []

North, the company behind the Focals AR glasses [], has acquired the "technology portfolio" behind another set of AR glasses, the cancelled [] Intel Vaunt glasses []. The company wouldn't disclose the terms of the deal, but Intel Capital is a major investor in North and led its last financing round in 2016. Both Focals and Vaunt had the same basic idea: use a tiny laser embedded in the stem of your glasses to project a reflected image directly into your retina. Unlike other AR and VR efforts, the goal is to create a pair of glasses you'd actually want to wear — something that looks relatively normal and doesn't weigh too much.

[...] Focals have the same basic idea as Vaunt but are actually set to ship to consumers fairly soon. The Canadian company already has a couple of stores where you can select the right style of glasses. But more importantly, you need to get them fitted, North says, because aligning the projector so you can see the image requires that the glasses be adjusted for your face.

[...] North CEO and co-founder Stephen Lake tells me that his company is acquiring 230 patents or applications along with some "technology and assets," which will mean the company should have over 650 patents by the end of the year.

[...] In some ways, North's Focals are a little more advanced than the Intel Vaunt prototypes I tried back in February. The image it displays is slightly larger and displays in full color instead of Vaunt's red monochrome. But Intel had some tech that North wanted, Lake tells me that the Vaunt team "did a lot of work in MEMs technology and the optics related to that." More specifically, Intel seems to have done a lot of work to miniaturize the display system.

Lake says that North is acquiring the patents for future versions of Focals and not to go on a lawsuit spree. "It's really about a defensive position," he says. Intel also had done work related to the core interface of using AR glasses. The patents North is acquiring cover "everything from new techniques, user interfaces, to ways to interact with the glasses."

Also at TechCrunch [].

Previously: Intel Unveils "Vaunt" Smartglasses []
Intel Abandons Vaunt AR (Augmented Reality) Smartglasses []

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