Exclusive: Intel’s new smart glasses hands-on


– What if smart glasses
didn’t make you look like a techno cyborg jerk? That’s exactly what Intel is making. These smart glasses are called Vaunt and they’re completely different
from what you’re expecting. What’s amazing about these glasses is they look normal and they feel really light on my head. They only weigh about 50 grams. They’re designed to do just one thing, show you simple, basic
information in one of your eyes. It has this little red
monochrome projector that shines an image on a
holographic mirror thing which then bounces it
directly into my eyeball so I don’t have to focus on it, it’s just sort of down there. But the best part is that if you’re not looking just
slightly down at the display, it completely disappears so
it’s not distracting you. The other thing is, you’re
not gonna be tapping and swiping and doing
whatever you might do like you did with Google Glass. There’s no camera here, it’s meant to be non-intrusive, not annoying in social situations. But, you can do little subtle things like if a notification comes
in and you wanna read it, you can just kinda look
over and it’ll slide in or you can dismiss it like that. Vaunt glasses are a prototype project from Intel’s new devices group and later this year
developers are gonna be able to start using them. Now, they do need to
be fitted to your eyes’ interpupillary distance so
that the display can actually line up to your eyeball. So we went up to Intel’s
lab in San Francisco to try them out. – Take a look, tell me what you see. – I, whoa, I see a red, I see an incoming call from
CEO Brian Krzanich, ah! – You gotta take that. – It fits on your face and it’s basically, it’s a heads up display, it’s just displaying some red text here that I’m just seeing right below
my standard line of vision. How on earth is this thing
showing me a heads up display? Because I don’t see it on the glasses, in fact, I don’t even, oh, right there, I can finally see. This thing is projecting into my eye? – That’s right. – How is it? Is it a laser, what’s the story there? – It is a VCSEL. – A VCSEL? What is a VCSEL? – Vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser. – Is this a safe thing to have? – Absolutely. It’s so low power, it’s
at the very bottom end of a class one laser. (upbeat music) – We had to integrate
very, very power-efficient light sources, mims devices
for actually painting an image. We use a holographic
grating embedded in the lens to reflect the correct
wavelengths back to your eye. The image is called retinal projection. So the image is actually painted into the back of your retina. If you wear prescription glasses, the prescription is used
for looking at the world but not for the image we send you. You can have terrible vision and still see bright, sharp, clear image that looks like it comes from Infinity. – I know what you’re thinking. A thing that shows notifications
in my eyeball all the time is awful and Intel is very aware
that you think that’s awful so they’re trying to be really smart about the stuff that it shows you. It’s trying to only show you really contextually important information. When these things are available to buy, what is it gonna do? Like what sort of things
is it gonna enable? Or is it just gonna be
all my Twitter mentions rolling in my eye all the time? Because that sounds awful. – It’s not. As you’re walking around
and standing where you are, that restaurant or that restaurant, which one has a better Yelp review? As I’m leaving my car getting instructions to where I was actually going, not where I parked. Simple things like that. You’re in the kitchen, you’re cooking, you go, “Alexa, I need
that recipe for cookies,” and it just appears on your glasses. We are providing a
level of behavioral A.I. to our system that allows us to figure out what to show you when. – Why would I feel like I
need a pair of smart glasses, especially if I could also
get like a smart watch that can also show me
notifications all the time? – When I saw the first smartphone, I didn’t go and say, “Wow, ride sharing, that’s gonna happen.” But the fact is ride sharing would have never happened
without smartphones. We’re excited about this
because it enables new use cases for developers to come up with. – To try to figure out what
all those use cases could be, later this year, Intel will
open an early access program so developers can get units
and start making stuff that works with the Vaunt. By the way, it should work
with both Android and iPhones. And throughout this whole process, Intel will continue to
develop its own companion app and A.I. and it will
release more prototypes with different eyeglass styles. But then what happens? Why is Intel making smart eyeglasses? – These are incredibly difficult to make. The electronics in here
are incredibly compact. The A6 that we have included
are of our own design, the apps processor is our own as well. Just, the whole thing is custom in order to fit in this package. – So, you’re Intel, you
can do that crazy stuff. But just ’cause you can– – Doesn’t mean you should. – So why? – Yes, I think B.K.’s been quoted to say data’s the new oil. I think other people say
somewhat similar things. The point is, you have to
consume that data somehow. So not only do we wanna manage the data and help you compute in the data center with Intel servers and
all that other stuff, we also wanna be part of
presenting that data to you in a way that you can consume. So that’s why we do it. – Right, so I just wanna be clear, when you say that Intel
thinks of data like oil, this thing isn’t about like collecting a whole bunch of
biometrics from you, right? It’s about taking all the data, it’s all actually part of the story of there’s a million pieces of
data that might be useful to me and Intel wants to be
in that flow of the data in a way that it hasn’t been before. So here’s the bet with Vaunt, you want smart glasses,
maybe you don’t, who knows, but you definitely don’t
want glasses that are big and ugly and techy and so you
have to get over that hump of are you willing to put
technology on your face. And the magic here is
they’ve made that hump that you need to get over, do you want tech on your face, totally easy, like this is fine. This is not a thing that
I’m worried about wearing. And once you get past that issue of, is this a thing that I
would be willing to wear, then it’s possible that
there could be a whole bunch of emergent ideas that could come. – These will hook you because
of what they provide you because how they can win
over those constraints that other heavier screens can’t or they ask you for too much. Arriving at the grocery store, both hands on the cart, eyes scanning the aisles
for the products we need, and we have the shopping
list somewhere, right? But now we have it here. – So those are very big dreams but will the tech actually work? These prototype glasses definitely do. But it’s going to be up
to software developers to make them actually useful. And, maybe more importantly, do you remember how smartphones changed how we all talk to each other? What do you think smart
glasses are going to do? Will we accept that the
people we’re talking to might be reading Facebook on their glasses when we’re just trying to
have a dinner conversation? You can’t really tell when
somebody’s paying attention to something on a Vaunt, only the person wearing
the glasses can see it. We’re a little ways from needing to worry about those social questions, but whether Intel releases
smart glasses first or somebody else beats them to the punch, this technology is definitely coming. – So I’m talking to you right now and you feel like you mean so much to me but I’m actually playing
a trivia game right now. – Great, that’s a future I want. – Yeah, you can ignore people
more efficiently that way.

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