Intel have been making all the right noises from the wearable technology side of the business. We’ve seen the fetching but not-available-in-my-size Synapse smartdress and recently the MICA smartbracelet launched. Intel have a subtly different approach to their wearable technology compared with many other businesses in that they enter a partnership with the hardware designer. Intel provide the technology under the surface and leave the design to the other party. This has so far resulted in products that are both functional but also look good, too. It’s where all wearable technology should be heading, because most people do not really want a smartwatch that looks like it belongs on a Star Trek Borg. Instead, people prefer the subtle product, like the Victoria’s Secret Incredible Bra. This is why Intel’s developments over the last year should start to pay off, but we’ve news today that Intel technology may power the next generation Google Glass device.
The Wall Street Journal has published an article citing that Intel have been in discussion with Google over providing the chipset and associated hardware for the next version of Glass, replacing the venerable Texas Instruments OMAP processor that lives inside current versions of Glass. We don’t know what particular chipsets Google and Intel may be considering, but we know that Intel have developed a range of different products including Quark, the ultra-small x86 class processor based around the Edison board. This is the same processor that’s used in the Synapse dress I linked to earlier. The Edison technology also includes tiny cellular circuitry so perhaps the next version of Glass will be available with a modem as well as Bluetooth and WiFi? If Intel were successful in powering the next iteration of Google Glass, it would also take on some of the marketing effort by promoting the device to hospitals and manufacturers, where the augmented reality technology can be easily applied. We can also expect Intel to work on new workplace uses for Glass, too: Google would not only be accessing Intel’s technology but also their marketing, development and sales expertise.
The news above shouldn’t be a surprise as Intel have been widely linked with moving into wearable technology during 2014. Wearable technology is currently unpredictable as we don’t know what products will appeal to the masses. The up and coming holiday season may provide insight through what devices sell and early next year, we’ll see Apple peddle their wearable smartwatch offering. But it seems that Intel’s strategy, which is akin to selling picks and shovels during a goldrush, is perfectly sensible. I expect the marketplace to look different this time next year both from a product and a component perspective and Intel’s push into wearables is giving them a real chance to feature. What do our readers think? What wearable products do you want to see in your life?