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Intel Picks Smartglass Partner

Post Time:Dec 05,2014Classify:Company NewsView:356

SAN FRANCISCO — Intel has announced a multi-year research-and-development partnership to develop high-end smart eyewear with Italian fashion designer Luxottica. The chipmaker also is expected to have silicon in the next generation of Google Glass. Luxottica also is a Google Glass partner.


Luxottica -- which owns luxury brands Ray Ban, Oakley, and Persol, and licenses Chanel and Tiffany -- hopes its partnership with Intel will create unique devices. Chief executive Massimo Vian told Reuters, “We've started to work on sensors which can detect, say, temperature or location." The first Intel-Luxottica product is expected next year.


"Together with Intel, we will continue to develop the potential of wearables, expanding the limits of what eye wear can be. We'll lead the change to create frames that are as intelligent and functional as they are beautiful,” Vian said in the release.

Fashion may be the key to success in the wearables market. While Google Glass may have name recognition, its design is somewhat unwieldy. Up-and-coming Oculus is even chunkier and designed for video gaming rather than daily wear.


Intel was unavailable to comment on which of its technologies could succeed in this partnership, or if it would develop new silicon. The company has aggressively targeted the wearables market with its Edison SoC and associated technologies.


This could be a very big deal for Intel. Luxottica owns glasses brands like Oakley and Ray Ban that make sense short-term to add intelligence to,” says Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst of Moor Insights and Strategy.


Moorhead, who has previously called for additional commercial uses for Google Glass, said this partnership could develop a brand of glasses for use in the repair, law enforcement, medical, and manufacturing markets. Intel would also be wise to partner with a variety of companies, as industry experts question Glass’s longevity and whether the project is dead already.


Intel needs to spread itself as widely as it can as the market is in its infancy, and the winners haven't been chosen yet,” Moorhead says.


Market watcher Seeking Alpha doesn’t expect the partnership to effect near-term sales, though the deal will likely bolster Intel’s market standing “relative to the ARM CPU developers who claim the lion's share of smartphone/tablet processor sales.”

Source: http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1324860Author: shangyi

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