Intel (opens in new tab) is reportedly planning to sell a majority stake in its augmented reality (opens in new tab) business with the hope of launching smart glasses geared towards consumers by the end of this year.
People familiar with the matter have indicated that the company values its AR division at as high as $350m and the capital needed to bring a pair of smart glasses (opens in new tab) to market could be earned through the sale of the chipmaker's stake in the business. Intel is also apparently looking for multiple backers to invest in the unit to bring its next-gen wearable to market.
The smart glasses would be able to connect to a user's smartphone via Bluetooth to display contextual information in their field of vision using a laser-based projector which reflects off the lens and onto the retina. This technology is currently being referred to as Superlite by those developing it at Taiwan's Quanta Computer, though the business sold by Intel may be called Vaunt according to Bloomberg's inside sources (opens in new tab).
The new company will also reportedly include some of Recon Instruments' former employees. In 2015, Intel acquired the AR wearables company though the chipmaker decided to shut it down just last year. If the rumours are true though, Vaunt will be Intel's first real push into AR.
With a large company like Intel behind it, Vaunt has the potential to bring AR to consumers in a real way that could overshadow the negativity that surrounded Google Glass (opens in new tab) when it was released to early users in 2013.
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