Intel shutters Augmented Reality division after failed spin-off, dooming Superlight glasses

We reported close to 3 months ago on a rumour, via Bloomberg, that Intel was set to spin out a new smart glasses company with plans to bring its Superlight laser-projection-based headset wearable to the market. Intel was said to be looking for partners to bring expertise in design and distribution, rather than simply financing.

It seems that search has failed, as Intel has now confirmed that they will be shuttering the division instead, saying:

Intel is continuously working on new technologies and experiences. Not all of these develop into a product we choose to take to market. The Superlight project is a great example where Intel developed truly differentiated, consumer augmented reality glasses. We are going to take a disciplined approach as we keep inventing and exploring new technologies, which will sometimes require tough choices when market dynamics don’t support further investment.

Code-named Superlight, the glasses would have projected the information on the user’s retina directly using lasers and was to have been manufactured by Quanta.

Intel has been working on Augmented Reality glasses for some time and in 2015 absorbed and shuttered Recon.

Intel most recently presented Project Alloy, a Mixed Reality headset based on Windows 10, but this reference design was also in the end abandoned.  Unlike self-contained glasses, Superlight was likely to connect via Bluetooth to your smartphone and draw processing power and data connectivity from there.

The failure of the device, even before it hits the market, joins other limited augmented reality glasses such as Google Glasses, and given the slow ramp-up of the Microsoft HoloLens, suggests this is still a technology looking for a market.

Via Engadget.com, picture credit: The Verge

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