For Intel, the Recon investment is the latest shot in a fusillade of wearable projects. In September, it hired the designer of Oakley’s AirWave heads-up goggles, pairing him with Steven Holmes, who oversaw Nike’s FuelBand.
Intel says that it has made a “significant investment” in Recon Instruments, a company that has quietly emerged on the cutting edge of wearable computing.
Intel did not disclose the size of the investment.
For Intel, the stake means closer ties with a company who has a proven track record in wearable computing. Intel said Friday that it will also contribute expertise in manufacturing, operations, and technology, arguably one of Intel’s competitive advantages over its rivals in the semiconductor industry.
Although most of the technology industry is familiar with innovations like Google Glass, Recon has largely flown under the radar. Its first products combined a heads-up display (HUD) interface projected onto the inside of ski goggles for skiers and snowboarders.
But the most recent $599 Recon Jet, shown at top, provides local mapping and weather, SMS and call alerts, and more through a dedicated software development kit and API. (Note: Recon will take $100 off with a special “Intel100” code through Oct. 8.) All told, the Jet’s combination of polarized sunglasses and a projected display weighs just over 2 ounces.
Recon has shipped more than 50,000 of its displays worldwide, including a campaign in Apple retail stores, said Dan Eisenhardt, Recon’s chief executive, in a statement. …