Wearable Tech World Feature Article
June 26, 2015

Intel Buys Its Own Smart Glass Company

While many have professed the demise of Google Glass, Google executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, told the Wall Street Journal the company is making Glass ready for users; that could be corporate speak for anything. And while Google, which started the smart glass craze, has put its product is hold, other companies are moving ahead.

The acquisition of Recon Instruments, maker of smart eyewear and smart goggle technology for sports and high intensity environments, by Intel seems to prove that the technology still has market value.

Intel reportedly paid $175 million for the company, which it had been investing in with its venture capital arm since 2013. The wearable market has huge potential for Intel, and it is making sure it doesn’t repeat the catastrophic mistake of not developing processors for smartphones; including turning down Steve Jobs when he asked the company to make the microprocessor for the iPhone.

Lesson learned, the company now has truly innovative products designed to address the wearable market, one of which is the Intel Curie module, a button size product based on the company’s first purpose-built system-on-chip (SoC) for wearable devices with an impressive set of features.

“Curie can deliver wearables in a range of form factors -- rings, bags, bracelets, pendants, and even buttons on our jackets. This changes the game of wearables,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO.

The acquisition makes Recon part of a company with a massive R&D budget and access to a marketing machine that will introduce the Recon Jet to a much wider audience. The Jet already has a great following, and it has been critically acclaimed not only for the technology, but for going after a particular market that is very likely to use the glasses.

Some of the specs for the Recon Jet are:

  • Processor and memory – 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 with 1 GB SDRAM, 8 GB flash
  • Sensors – 3D accelerometer, 3D gyroscope, 3D magnetometer, pressure sensor and infrared (IR) sensor.
  • Connectivity – GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Smart), ANT+, Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11a/b/g/n) and Micro USB 2.0.
  • Display – Widescreen 16:9 WQVGA display, virtual image appears as 30″ HD display at 7′, high contrast and brightness, and power-saving sleep modes including IR-enabled Glance Detection technology.
  • Controls – Optical touchpad usable in all-weather including with gloves, and 2-button rocker.
  • Audio and Video – Point-of-view photo and video camera, dual microphones, integrated speaker

One of the more attractive features of the Jet, is its price. Unlike Google’s $1,500 price tag, which put off a lot of people, the Recon glass starts at only $499.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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