Intel smart glasses 'make the technology disappear'

February 05, 2018 // By Rich Pell
Intel (Santa Clara, CA) is reportedly looking to find partners for its augmented reality (AR) business ahead of potential plans to launch a range of smart glasses for consumers as soon as later this year.

Bloomberg reports that the company is seeking multiple investors for its AR division - said to be valued at as much as $350 million - which is currently developing smart glasses designed to connect via Bluetooth to mobile phones. The glasses, say reports, will be able to display contextual information in the user's field of view via a laser-based projector that reflects off the lens and onto the wearer's retina.

Reportedly to be called "Vaunt," the glasses appear visually and in use as normal eyeglasses, according to The Verge , which was able to perform a hands-on evaluation of an early pair of prototypes. In addition, they are expected to be available in a variety of styles, work with prescriptions, and are comfortable to wear for extended periods.

Intel's head of products for its New Devices Group told The Verge that the company is "really excited" about the potential for head-worn products. A key focus on the design of the new smart glasses was to create something designed to "make the technology disappear."

One of the design goals for the glasses was a weight of under 50 grams - more than most standard glasses, but much lighter than other smart glasses and head-mounted displays. The glasses' electronics are located in the stems, near the front frames - keeping the weight properly distributed for comfort while also allowing for normal stem and frame flexing during use.

A low-powered vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) is used to produce a monochrome display of about 400 x 150 pixels onto a holographic graded reflector on the right lens of the glasses. This is then reflected into the user's retina using retinal projection, a process by which photons (light) are projected directly into the retina(s) of a user creating an image that is always in focus.

To the user, the display appears as a "rectangle of red text and icons" in the lower right of their