Skip to main content

Intel’s ‘Vaunt’ smartglasses could be the iPhone of augmented reality

Sigma 16mm F1.4 Contemporary review
Daven Mathies/Digital Trends
Google Glass was awful. It never quite took off — and for good reason. It was bulky, unintuitive, and it made you look like a Glasshole. It gave AR glasses a bad name, but Intel aims to change all that with its new Vaunt smartglasses.

Dieter Bohn over at The Verge got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the next-generation smartglasses, and it’s hard not to get excited about their potential. These are, first and foremost, glasses. They’re just regular old prescription or non-prescription glasses you would wear during the day and charge at night. There’s not a computer attached to your head or some weird bulky attachment to your existing glasses.

Just look at these things. Without the serial numbers on them, you’d never notice someone wearing a pair and just walking down the street — or attending a meeting in the office.

The computing power comes from your smartphone, which the glasses connect to over bluetooth. The Vaunt glasses use some impressive technology to beam a few limited notifications into your field of view. They’re not designed to constantly ping you with Twitter updates or emails — the display is intended to offer context-sensitive information like directions, an incoming phone call, or even a restaurant’s Yelp rating.

Let’s take a step back for a second, these are pretty limited use-cases and that’s to be expected. Think about the first generation iPhone, what it was — and wasn’t — capable of right out of the box. There were only a handful of Apple-designed applications. In time though, it grew into the massive ecosystem we know today. As Intel’s Itai Vonshak points out, there was no Uber, Lyft, Instagram, or Snapchat when smartphones first hit it big. Those came later, and that’s what Intel is banking on here.

They intend to roll out the first set of real AR glasses for real people, and see what happens. That’s the thing the budding smartglasses market has been missing — an actual product. Not a concept, or expensive headpiece like the Magic Leap, but a pair of AR glasses with some basic functionality — something people would actually wear everyday. Put them out there, see what people end up doing with them, and most importantly, find out what people want to do with them.

Intel will be start up an “early access program” later this year.

Jayce Wagner
Former Digital Trends Contributor
A staff writer for the Computing section, Jayce covers a little bit of everything -- hardware, gaming, and occasionally VR.
Apple may embrace the metaverse now after all
Apple CEO Tim Cook is superimposed over the the words augmented reality.

Apple CEO Time Cook described something similar to the metaverse in a recent interview, possibly changing his mind about a digital world to enhance our own.

The most recent revelation about Cook's changing ideas about AR/VR technology and the metaverse comes from an interview in GQ. "My thinking always evolves. Steve taught me well: never to get married to your convictions of yesterday," Cook mused.

Read more
This microLED advancement is exactly what AR and VR needs
AR Glasses appear over an enlarged view of a stacked microLED display.

Recent advances in microLED technology could significantly improve AR glasses and VR headsets in the future, according to some new research from MIT.

The report claims that vertical stacking could allow for microscopic pixels that provide full color in just 4 microns.

Read more
Why Apple’s foldable MacBook could be the Mac’s iPhone X moment
A concept visual of a foldable screen MacBook Folio.

These days, it seems every company and their dog is developing a folding device and trying to convince people it will be the next big thing. Now, Apple is apparently jumping on the bandwagon and is poised to unveil a MacBook with a 20-inch folding display in 2026 or 2027. If it goes well, this could be an even more seismic shift for the Mac than the transition to Apple silicon chips.

In fact, I’m thinking that a laptop with a folding screen could be the Mac’s iPhone X moment -- a product that completely resets an entire product lineup, not just for Apple, but for the entire industry. That means there’s a huge amount at stake.

Read more