Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has put money in a virtual reality goggles company, a company that gathers aerial data with the help of drones and a mobile audio and video company in trying to expand its business. The chip maker announced the investment of $62 million in 16 tech companies on Tuesday during Intel Capital’s annual global conference in Huntington Beach, California.
Intel exploring new areas
The range of start-ups where Intel has invested include areas like wearable technology, eye-tracking technology and mobile. The idea behind investing in such start-ups is the quest of the company to make a mark in areas beyond PCs and servers. Intel earns the majority of its profits from PC and data center chips.
One of the companies among the 16 that Intel invested in was Avegant, a virtual reality company based in Redwood City, California. Avegant is in the process of developing Glyph, a set of consumer goggles that can also be used as headphones. The company has raised over $1 million through crowd-funding site Kickstarter earlier this year, and on Tuesday announced a $9.37 million funding in which Intel is the lead investor.
Avegant CEO Joerg Tewes taking of Intel Corps investment, said, “It helps us to drive the product forward. It’s crucial for us.” Tewes said that the investment is what the company actually needed to finish the project.
Other companies funded by Intel
Besides Avegant, Intel Capital is also funding Eyefluence, a firm deverloping eye tracking technology used for augmented or virtual reality. Only last month, as a part of its investment in China, the company invested in EyeSmart, a start-up that makes iris-recognition technology.
Recently, Intel’s Capital arm also invested around $28 million in several Chinese companies. Intel Capital is estimating that its total investment will reach $355 this year, adding to $11 billion since 1991.
Tuesday’s announcement also included names like Braigo Labs, a start-up created by a 13-year old Shubham Banerjee that makes a low-cost Braille printer; PrecisionHawk, in the business of collecting and analyzing aerial data; Audyssey, which helps improve sound quality for home theaters, TVs and mobile phones; and Screenovate, which lets users wirelessly beam movies and games from their smartphones and tablets to their TVs.
Separately, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) announced the winner of its new “Make it Wearable” challenge, which was conducted to create new innovation using the Edison chip. Nixie, the maker of flying wearable cameras was announced as the winner and was awarded a prize of $500,000.