The next generation of Google’s Glass headset could be a lot more powerful, thanks to a partnership between the search giant and Intel, one of the world’s biggest chip makers. While this has yet to be confirmed by either party, the rumour appeared over the weekend from sources said to be very close to the matter.
The Intel hardware will replace the chip(s) provided by Texas Instruments in the original Google Glass. Intel will be doing more than just providing internal hardware however and will help promote the new Glass eyewear, pushing it towards hospitals and manufacturers. While Glass has some potential privacy concerns and dubious uses for end users, it’s in certain businesses and industries where hands free access to information is incredibly useful.
The potential for augmented reality too could really help people improve their job efficiency.
Google is also looking to push this angle, through a program is calls “Glass at Work.” This will see it work with software developers around the world to try and come up with unique and useful applications for Glass.
Early analyses of the rumoured Intel partnership has been positive, with many suggesting that it could be the tipping point that sees Glass show up in many more industries before long. The workplace acceptance is seen as just the beginning however. While that might familiarise more people with the idea of wearing smartphone like headsets, it could mean that it leads more consumers to use them in their daily lives. That’s certainly what Google is hoping for, as it has far more people working on its more end-user developments than it has on its work based ones.
However this is big news for Intel too, which has recently shown a lot of interest in wearable computing, releasing its Edison platform to help take wearable computing to a whole new level. In the past half decade it has seen its market dominance drop off with the move from more desktop focused chips, to laptops, tablets and smartphones, which have been dominated by other manufacturers like AMD, ARM and Qualcomm.
If Glass really takes off, it will put Intel in a strong position to market its hardware to the competitors that will eventually emerge. Its own wearables will also help there though. As WSJ points out, last month Intel launched its very own fashion focused bracelet, the MICA, which comes with an interchangeable smart core, so it can be upgraded over time.