Intel has invested $24.8 million into Vuzix (around 30% of Vuzix’s outstanding stock), and with this the chip maker continues its push in the wearable segment. The chip maker is striving to get the benefits of an early entrant in the potential, but not so crowded computerized headwear and other wearables segment.
Working capital investment
Vuzix, in a statement, noted that the investment done by Intel will be utilized for the general working capital to move ahead in introducing Vuzix’s next-generation, fashion-based wearable products into the consumer market.
It will be interesting to see how Vuzix uses the investment made by Intel in its smart glasses. Intel is not just concerned with creating wearables, but wants it to be acceptable to the fashion fraternity by making it more interesting, fashionable or practical than the typical concept of “strapping a small camera to a simple pair of eyeglasses and calling it a day,” according to Pcmag.
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It would be worth watching if Intel’s involvement in Vuzix gives them an edge in the wearable industry by making more workplace adaptable wearables that are high on fashion as well.
Intel into small things
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal in November, Intel chips would power the next generation of Google Glass, replacing Texas instrument. As of now, the features that Intel is planning to fit into Glass II are not clear, but the company is designing all types of small components such as the Quark processor, the tiny Edison system-on-a-chip circuit board, and a SoFIA chip that combines a CPU with a 3G modem (and, soon, LTE 4G connectivity).
Recently, Intel entered into a partnership with fashion brand Opening Ceremony to come up with a wearable, which was showcased in November. Mica is not just a stylish bracelet, but also a device that has a screen and performs the basic functions of smartwatch such as notifications, event reminders, Google calendar items and so on. Mica has a built-in GPS that allows custom notifications of the user’s locations along with an independent cellular radio with service offered by AT&T.
Intel has also entered into a collaboration with Italian eyewear manufacturer Luxottica group, and in December the company announced that together they will develop stylish, smart eyewear for niche, luxury and sports glasses.