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Intel Announce Strategic Partnership With Luxury Eyewear Maker, Luxottica

December 3, 2014 - Written By David Steele

Intel’s push into the wearable market has already resulted in some interesting product developments. We’ve seen the Synapse smart dress, a concept that combined Intel’s Edison board with fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht’s dress skill. We’ve also seen the smart bracelet or MICA, which stands for My Intelligent Communications Accessory, introduced that uses Intel’s technology combined with Open Ceremony’s design skills. And Intel have been linked with working alongside Google for the next generation Glass product; here Intel will provide the hardware technology and Google will provide the design and the software. Three examples where Intel is sticking to the technology side of things and letting a designer (or Google!) create the product. And for me, this is exactly the way to design wearable technology: most people don’t want to look like a member of the Borg Collective if they’re wearing one or two smart, wearable products. Instead, we want our wearable technology to look like the normal, non-smart example of the genre. Most of us want our watches to look like, well, watches and I know that when I put my best dress on, I want it to look like a dress. Intel are making the right noises… and news today is that this is going to continue, as they’ve announced a multi-year partnership with Luxottica Group and the intention is to launch “premium, luxury and sports eyewear with smart technology.”

Massimo Vian, Chief Executive Officer of Luxottica Group, said, “This is an incredible opportunity for us to continue to innovate and further shape the future of eyewear. Together with Intel, we will continue to develop the potential of wearables, expanding the limits of what eyewear can be. We’ll lead the change to create frames that are as intelligent and functional as they are beautiful. Products that consumers will love to wear.” The first products from the new strategic partnership aren’t due until 2015 (I don’t need to remind readers that it’ll be 2015 in under four weeks!). Intel’s Chief Executive Officer, Brian Krzanich, had this to say on the matter: “Through our collaboration with Luxottica Group, we will unite our respective ecosystems and bring together Intel’s leading-edge silicon and software technology with Luxottica’s design innovation and consumer expertise. We expect the combination of our expertise to help drive a much faster pace of innovation and push the envelope of what’s possible.”

As regular readers will know, I’m a fan of Intel’s approach. They’re sticking with what they’re good at and letting the designers do what they’re good at. We also know that Intel have a collaboration with watch maker Fossil but they’ve kept quiet about this, but it sounds like their investment into wearable technology is going to start paying off neat year. I wonder how well the “Intel Inside” logo would work on glasses…