Smart glass provider Vuzix on Friday announced that Intel had invested $24.8 million in the company. The acquisition of the preferred stock is worth 30 percent of the Rochester, New York-based firm and is convertible into common stock.
Intel has been showing growing interest in wearable technology as the company had partnered with Google for the supply of controller hardware. The new deal will allow the chip-maker to provide complex and sophisticated designs for Google’s wearable device. Vuzix stated that it would focus more on net-connected glasses while the funding will be used for “general working capital”.
Vuzix has been working mainly on devices like intelligent headgear that features hands-free capabilities, customer service from agents and the ability to access patient’s data for doctors while traveling. The same device will offer entertainment with virtual reality for gaming and video features.
Intel has become a market leader in designing wearables, by developing its own devices and is also working with Italy-based wearable firm Luxottica for adding technology features to its fashionable wearables. The chipmaker has even partnered with Fossil for development of smartwatches. Vuzix’s technology will provide Intel technology for the Internet of Things that is the main focus of the Consumer Electronics Show 2015 (CES) to be held next week.
Intel is expected to showcase the current developments in wearables during the CES show along with a range of other companies who will showcase their new products and technologies. However the chipmaker might not be able to showcase all of its products as they are in the early phases and have not revealed any prototypes.
While smartwatches are yet to gain prominence among consumers, the event will probably decide the entry of new smartwatches of wearables with innovative features. According to Juniper Research, about 10 million wearables will be sold by 2018 which is comparatively low when compared with smartphones and other devices.[ Source ]