'For anyone who wanted a pair of Google glasses but didn't want to look like a lazy Borg cosplay, Intel may have just what you need. Just one catch; you have to be OK with a laser firing photons directly into your retina.
Consummate techie and Executive Editor at The Verge, Deiter Bohn, took Intel's Vaunt smart glasses for a test drive - which he says are "virtually indistinguishable from regular glasses," and are the "first pair of smart eyeglasses I've tried that doesn't look ridiculous."
The smart glasses - which weigh less than 50 grams - work by projecting a very low-powered laser (a VCSEL), which shines a "red, monochrome image somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 x 150 pixels" on to a holographic reflector on the right lens of the glasses - which is then reflected directly into your eyeball and onto your retina.
Intel swears it's safe.
“It is a class one laser. It’s such low power that we don’t [need it certified],” he says, “and in the case of [Vaunt], it is so low-power that it’s at the very bottom end of a class one laser.” -Mark Eastwood, Director of Industrial Design, Intel NDG group
“We use a holographic grading embedded into 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,” says Jerry Bautista, the team lead for wearable devices at Intel's NDG. Due to the fact that the glasses project images directly onto the retina, the projected image is in focus on both prescription and non-prescription lenses.'
Read more: Intel’s New 'Smart Glasses' Shoot Laser Beam Directly Into Your Retina