Intel announced on Wednesday that it was acquiring Recon Instruments, which is known for making head up or wearable displays for athletes. The acquisition is expected to help Intel boost its wearables efforts.
Recon to help Intel with its wearables plan
Though Intel provided no details of the financial terms of the deal, a spokesperson said that the deal was small, and not “financially material to Intel.” According to Tech Vibes, the acquisition price is around $175 million. Intel had been an early investor in Recon through its VC arm Intel Capital.
In the last few years, Intel has been investing heavily in the wearables sector. It previously came up with a high-fashion smart cuff, and also unveiled a module that is small enough to fit inside a coat button. Recon will surely help Intel to challenge Google’s much-hyped project Google Glass. As of September 2013, Recon had shipped 50,000 units of its Snow model, making it more successful than Google Glass, which at that time had sold only a few thousand units.
Post-acquisition, the 75 member team of the Canadian firm will join the chip maker. The acquisition provides Intel with a talented, experienced wearable computing team that would help the chip maker expand the market for head-mounted display products and technologies. The Recon engineers will work with Intel’s New Devices Group to develop additional wearable technology.
Impressive product line-up
Of note, the Recon brand will remain under Intel ownership. Recon offers two products: the Recon Snow2, which is a ski mask, and the Recon Jet, a pair of sunglasses for cyclists and runners. Both the products are integrated with the display.
Recon recently introduced Jet, which is the company’s latest offering, targeting runners and bikers. Jet consists of an HD camera and an onboard processor. Its HD display is equivalent to a 30-inch screen viewed from seven-feet away; it has a GPS receiver an accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, barometer and magnetometer. It connects via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ant+, which is a wireless often found in sports gadgets.
Intel’s senior vice president Josh Walden, who heads the companies new Technology Group, wrote in a blog post that Recon will continue to sell its products. Assuring customers and retailers of Recon products, the executive said, “they’ll continue selling, enhancing and marketing their products under the Recon brand without disruption.”