People familiar with Intel’s business plan have informed Bloomberg that they intend to sell their majority stake in the augmented reality (AR) business. Their AR division aims to offer smart glasses on the consumer market this year, though the division just might have a new name and new owner by then.
Currently the division is valued by Intel at as much as $350 million, but none of the plans are yet public. Intel hopes to seek multiple backers to invest.
We previously reported on rumours Intel were closing their AR goggle Brand, Recon. The business has pared back their consumer product efforts after not making enough progress in the wearable technology market.
The division was making smart glasses that sync with user’s mobile phones through Bluetooth. The glasses would display contextual information with a laser projector that bounces light off of the lenses and onto the eyes of the wearer. The technology is known internally as Superlite.
As the division will no longer be a part of Intel, it will be renamed, and sources have indicated that Vaunt is likely the new name for the company. Naturally, Intel representatives have declined to comment.
The kinds of investors Intel are looking for include those who can have strong sales connections and experience, and industry or design expertise. Intel aren’t worried about financing their products, nor their technology, rather their marketability and how to get consumers interested in their products.
Intel are of course a company that do far more than just experiment with AR technology. Their CPU sales are still dominant in the market, and Intel chips are included in many business grade and consumer grade devices, from PCs, Macs, tablets, phones and much more.
Intel also have their foot firmly in the virtual reality (VR) door and are powering live VR broadcasts on the Winter Olympic Games. Intel are also helping HTC Vive with their HTC Vive Wireless Adapter, ensuring quick video streaming and encoding for low latency VR experiences.
Intel’s move to sell their majority stake in their AR business does seem to indicate a lack of faith, but if investors who can help market and sell the device get involved, it can mean many more returns from the venture for the company in the long run. However it turns out, you can rest assured that you’ll read about it on VRFocus.