Intel invests in smart-glasses maker Vuzix, now owns 30% of company

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On January 2nd, 2015, Intel and smart-glasses maker, Vuzix, announced that Intel had purchased 4,962,600 shares of Vuzix’ common stock. This gives Intel 30% control in the company and allows the placement of two board members to the current five. This development is interesting because earlier in December, Talk Android reported that Intel would be the chip supplier to Google’s next iteration of Google Glass.

Many market analysts made note that Intel was behind the curve in developing technology for mobile platforms, so these two announcements were perhaps related to that analysis.

Vuzix’s M100 smart-glasses did very well for themselves at CES 2013. The M100 was awarded “Best of Innovations” in the category of Design and Engineering, and were also selected as “Best Technology” in the category of Wireless Handset Accessory.

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The M100’s specifications are a little dated. It’s helmed by Android Ice Cream Sandwich with an OMAP 4460, 1.2GHz chip. Memory-wise, it has 1GB of RAM and comes with 8GB of flash memory, with the ability to upgrade to 32GB via MicroSD.

Talk Android’s Jack Holt reported last year that Vuzix had entered into an agreement with an undisclosed tech giant to help make the M100 as stylish as designer glasses. Vuzix has since announced various partnerships with companies like Lenovo and Fossil, but still hasn’t mentioned if it was one of these that was the unnamed company. So with the addition of companies like Fossil, I expect that Vuzix will probably show off a new iteration of their smart-glasses at CES 2015 featuring a refreshed design.

Intel has also been busy as of late with its RealSense technology. Recently, it released a series of advertisements featuring CBS’ Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons showcasing the gesture-control technology.

http://youtu.be/fKOK-DzrQQ8

Could we see a future combination between these gesture controls and Vuzix’s M100 smart-glasses? Between commercial uses and the rise of virtual reality, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that such a combination could bring about a totally new way in in which we interact with smart devices. My 2 pennies: Intel is starting to show what cards it has in its hand and the pay-off could be huge.

Source: Vuzix via PR Newswire


About the Author: Joseph Proffer

In 2011, Joseph bought his first smartphone: Sprint's variant of the Samsung Galaxy SII, the Epic 4G Touch. And the rest, as they say, is history. Joseph has been an occasional journalist since his college years at the University of Oklahoma, where he was an opinion columnist for the OU Daily. His main interests have always been science and technology, especially gadgets. He lives in Indiana with his border collie, plotting world domination.