Google is switching allegiance when it comes to the processor powering its Google Glass wearable, with the company abandoning Texas Instruments in favour of Intel.
At least that’s according to the usually reliable Wall Street Journal, which reckons that come the next version of Glass to be produced next year, it’ll be Intel inside the goggles rather than TI’s OMAP 4430 SoC. Exactly what type of Intel chip will be present, though, the WSJ’s source didn’t say – we can apparently expect a much better battery life in the next incarnation, though (longevity has been a sticking point to date).
The move to Intel certainly won’t hurt the reputation of Google Glass, which has been suffering somewhat of late, and Kevin Spain, general partner of Emergence Capital Partners, told the WSJ that Intel’s involvement in Google Glass was “a positive signal, not just about Glass, but about the wearable category generally.”
Recent research by Reuters has pointed to Glass developers losing faith in the product, which has now been under development for a long time, with many citing a lack of consumer interest in the specs as a major reason for abandoning their app projects. Going from our own impressions – which were largely negative – it’s difficult to see Glass succeeding whether it’s backed by Intel or not, at least in the broader consumer world.
Specific industries, however, may have far more use for the device, and indeed the WSJ notes that Google is looking at selling Glass to the manufacturing sector and hospitals, to name two potential sectors.
But still, Google remains confident in selling Glass to the general public as well – of the 300 staff who work on the wearable, only 5 per cent of them, or around 15, are focused on Glass at Work. Intel coming on board won’t change this focus, either, by all accounts.
Mind you, Google has to try and sell that line to the media, lest the gadget be sunk before it’s even launched – which we suspect is the case anyway, in terms of the mainstream consumer world. Workplace usage will be an entirely different kettle of fish, though.
Intel, of course, will be pleased to be supplying the engine for Glass, as it’s keen to push forward with wearables as much as possible, and made that quite clear at the start of 2014 during CES (with the company deciding to focus on the wearables field following its less than successful attempts at cracking the mobile arena).