Update (18/04/2018, 12:00 pm IST): Just a few months after the news came out, Intel has officially scrapped off its plans for the ambitious Vaunt AR Glasses.
The company is doing so by shutting down the New Devices Group (NDG) that was tasked with the development of the laser projection glasses, The Information reports. The move could result in the lay-offs from the development team that included around 200 employees.
Later, Intel issued a statement confirming the cancellation but didn’t mention anything about the layoffs.Intel could sell their augmented reality business which currently values at around $350 million. The news comes from Bloomberg’s sources according to whom a newly formed spinoff could start selling AR glasses as soon as this year.
The sources said that the division to be sold would likely be called ‘Vaunt’ and Intel would keep a small stake in it.
The futuristic spectacles would be able to communicate with a smartphone over Bluetooth. The tech dubbed Superlight would use a laser-based projector to reflect light off the lens onto the wearer’s retina to display contextual information. It would also be able to take advantage of the smartphone’s processing power and internet connectivity.
The sources said that the division to be sold would likely be called Vaunt and Intel would keep a small stake in it. Intel has signed a contract with Taiwan-based Quanta Computer inc. to manufacture the AR glasses.
Vaunt’s development team currently includes around 200 employees based the US, Switzerland, and Israel, including some employees from Recon – a business Intel acquired in 2015 as its first AR glasses attempt but shuttered later. Intel announced a Windows 10-based mixed reality headset in 2016 called Project Alloy. But it was also scraped off.
With the new smart glasses in the making, Intel joins the line of other big names including Apple and Amazon also working on their headsets, and Google which revamped their Google Glass project for business customers last year.