North acquires Intel’s Vaunt AR glasses patents and tech

North Focals

Kitchener-based North, the company behind smart glasses Focals, has acquired the patents and technology of augmented reality (AR) Intel Vaunt glasses, according to a report by The Verge.

“It’s really about a defensive position,” Lake said.

The details of the deal have not been made public but Intel is one of North’s major investors. The article states the patents include “everything from new techniques, user interfaces, to ways to interact with the glasses.”

Focals are a pair of stylish glasses that hide a wearable device utilizing eye-tracking, microphones, and hologram technology, essentially projecting digital images in front of the wearer’s eye. Users can use the glasses for text messaging, checking calendars, turn-by-turn navigation, weather, Amazon Alexa, and ordering Uber rides. Each pair of Focals come with a ring-sized, four directional ‘Loop’ joystick that lets users control and interact with the smart glasses.

The device launched about a month after BetaKit reported on the development of the smart glasses technology.

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According to The Verge, Vaunt was working on smart glasses that are very similar to Focals but struggled to get the technology from production to customers. It also noted that Intel had failed to find the right partners to bring the product successfully to market.

Stephen Lake, North’s CEO, told The Verge that the company had acquired some 230 Vaunt patents along with “technology and assets” for future versions of Focals.

“It’s really about a defensive position,” Lake said, adding that he wanted to protect the company from any future lawsuits. North expects to have over 650 patents by the end of the year.

This article was originally published on MobileSyrup.

Shruti Shekar

Shruti Shekar

Shruti Shekar is a video producer and reporter for MobileSyrup. She was formerly a video producer and reporter for IT World Canada and prior to that was a political reporter at The Hill Times based in Ottawa. She's had stints at the Lobby Monitor and the Wire Report. She loves reading, the Raptors, and all the alcohol.