Are augmented reality glasses the next big “thing”? Think about it this way – you have to pull your phone out of your pocket or purse in order to know what messages you receive. How many times have you seen someone walking down the street staring at their phone, only to then watch them run into something? I think the goal is to be able to send and receive information without having to constantly be looking down. It’s distracting and honestly, not exactly safe. We heard, recently, that Vuzix had come up with their own version of the Google Glass, and now Intel is working on their own. Apple is rumored to be getting into this game, but that’s just a rumor at this point. The answer my earlier question then is – yes, they are the next big thing.
The interesting thing about Intel is that they’re actually not looking to develop the project itself, but rather sell their majority stake in the glasses unit. It’s rumored that Intel’s AR glasses division is valued at $350 million. Intel is looking for multiple backers to invest in the project – especially people “who can contribute to the business with strong sales channels, industry or design expertise, rather than financial backers”. This makes sense since it appears that they have the money that they need, but having extra expertise is extremely valuable.
Intel has been developing smart glasses that can be paired with smartphones via Bluetooth:
The spectacles will be able to display contextual information into the wearer’s field of view with a laser-based projector that reflects off the lens and onto the retina, the people said. Taiwan’s Quanta Computer Inc. is making the product under contract for Intel. The technology is known internally as Superlite, but the business to be sold will likely be called Vaunt.
It’s estimated that these will be available in stores as soon as this year, but there isn’t an estimate of how much they will cost. I think it’s great that Intel is bringing an alternative version to market. I know that Apple’s version (if and when) will do very well, but I do like to see competition in the marketplace. One company can’t dominate all the time for everything. I should reiterate – Apple is rumored to be developing AR glasses. But I mean, that only makes sense, doesn’t it? They don’t have a pair of AR glasses, and they at least need to start researching and developing a concept, even if they don’t produce a viable product right now.
Why am I saying this? AR is huge and only going to become more integrated into our everyday lives. Tim Cook mentioned how significant he feels the technology is, and it sounds like this is the next logical step in the Apple Ecosystem. Apple hasn’t confirmed this, but I think they’re just trying to keep it under wraps. They have confirmed that they are just working on supporting ARKit and other AR features for the iPhone and iPad, but I’m not convinced this is all.