Smart glasses have had a rough history, and generally haven’t been accepted en masse. Google took a shot at it in 2013, releasing their Google Glasses to select users first, and then to consumers in 2014. Unfortunately for Google, the device received a great deal of criticism for featuring a camera, as people believed it opened up a world of privacy and safety concerns. It would eventually be discontinued a year later, and this type of device generally hasn’t been seen since. Now though, Intel believes it can resurrect the market by creating a device that’s both a little more polished and less invasive.
As covered over at The Verge, Intel believes that limiting device capabilities will make their new smart glasses more appealing for the general consumer. There’s no camera, no buttons to push, and no gesture area to swipe. They don’t feature an LCD screen, a speaker, or even a microphone. The glasses simply display information to the user by projecting it directly onto your retina.
By removing these additional features, Intel has made a device that they believe has “zero social cost”. That is, the device was designed from the ground up to make the technology disappear. People you interact with won’t be worried about being recorded, and you as a user won’t feel defined by the glasses themselves. As stated by Intel’s Itai Vonshak, “head-worn products are hard because people assign a lot of attributes to putting something on their head. It means something about their personality.”
Intel will be releasing prototypes to developers later this year, but will also be seeking a partner to eventually bring the platform to retail. By partnering with various manufacturers, you’ll eventually be able to choose from a variety of colors and sizes that match your sense of style. Who knows, your next pair of glasses might be able to display notifications from your phone or tell you which street to take on your next trip.
Images: The Verge, Intel
Source: The Verge