New Google Glass to run on Intel chips?

Google's Glass isn't dead yet, with plans reportedly under way to relaunch the device with an Intel chip inside.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

With consumers' interest in Google's Glass reportedly on the wane, a new version of the networked headset with an Intel chip and longer battery life is aiming to revive its appeal.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the next iteration of Glass, due out next year, will be powered by Intel chips instead of the processors supplied by Texas Instruments it currently uses.

Besides its high-end price tag, one of Glass's other failings has been its battery life, which typically lasted at most for a day. Earlier hardware updates for Glass boosted the RAM and delivered a larger battery, but only achieved modest improvements in battery life.

It's not known which Intel chip will come with the new version of Glass, but the WSJ report notes two possible candidates: the ARM-based processor also used in Intel's own MICA wearable unveiled earlier this year, which promises a battery life of two days; and Intel's x86 based system on chip, Quark, for wearables and low-power Internet of Things devices. Whichever chip ends up in Google's headset, the next Glass edition will have an emphasis on power conservation to compensate for the limits to battery size that come with wearables.

Intel, though, will be go beyond just supplying chips for Glass: according to the publication, the chip maker will pick up the slack in pushing Glass to the enterprise — where many have noted Google's headset may have potential even if it fails to catch on among consumers — should Google ever release Glass to general availability.

Intel's promotion of the device could augment Google's own program for the enterprise called Glass at Work, which has a number of partners developing vertical applications for the healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, and sports industries.

While Intel dominated the PC and server markets over the past two decades, that lead didn't carry over to smartphones and tablets.  The company is now making a concerted effort to ensure it isn't sidelined in the Internet of Things, where its capabilities have been spiced up by Wind River.

Intel said: "Intel and Google have a strong relationship and work closely together across a number of different areas but we aren't going to comment on speculation." ZDNet has asked Google for comment and will update the story if any is forthcoming.

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