Intel invests in Google Glass rival, the 'world's most advanced wearable computer'

Intel has revealed a "significant" investment in Recon Instruments, a wearable computing firm working on products to rival Google Glass.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
Credit: Google

Intel is developing a strong interest in wearable technology, and has invested a "significant" amount of capital into a firm which could shape up as provider of technology to rival Google's Glass headset.

On Thursday, Intel announced the investment, saying the "significant investment" in to wearable technology developer Recon will support product development, marketing and global sales expansion. Recon will also "benefit from Intel Capital's expertise in manufacturing, operations and technology," the company says.

Intel's specific funding figures were not disclosed.

The company, founded in 2008, is best known for creating Heads-up Displays (HUD) for sports. Recon says that over 50,000 HUD displays have been shipped to consumers worldwide, and the firm enjoyed a "successful campaign" in Apple retail stores last winter when connectivity to iPhones was achieved.

Credit: Recon

"Recon has established itself as the leader in consumer Heads-up Displays for sports and active lifestyle," the firm says on its website. "Our next big project is Recon Jet and with it, we’re reaching out to larger, more diverse markets."

The Reconjet, pictured below and touted as the "world's most advanced wearable computer," weighs 60 grams and works in all weather conditions. The headset can be used to create and display sports performance metrics, connect to third-party sensors through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and can be paired with a smartphone to display calls, show SMS messages and for web connectivity.

In the same manner as Google Glass, developers can use the technology's SDK and API to build native applications.

The headset is not available in stores, but will ship online from March 2014.

Credit: Recon

Mike Bell, Vice President and General Manager of New Devices Group at Intel said:

"Wearable computing is a major, accelerating phenomenon that re-defines how we use and interact with information. In Recon Instruments, we see compelling technology and a solid strategy to capitalize on the wearable revolution. This is an area of significant focus for Intel Capital, and our investment in Recon Instruments is a key part of our approach to innovation in this emerging space."

Since 1991, Intel has invested more than $10.9 billion in over 1,294 companies in 54 countries.

On Thursday, Google has a wearable tech announcement of its own. The search engine giant said that it plans to kick off a Google Glass tour across the U.S. -- starting in Durham, N.C., on October 5 -- to promote Glass and allow the general public to chat to the development team about the headset's uses and potential.

Google Glass is expected to go on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year.

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