Intel, Luxottica Partner on Smart Eyewear
The alliance with the fashion eyeglass designer is Intel's latest foray into a wearable computing device space that is expected to grow rapidly.Intel is continuing its aggressive expansion into wearable devices and the Internet of things, with the latest step being a partnership with fashion eyewear designer Luxottica Group to make smart glasses. The companies announced the deal Dec. 3 from the International Luxury Conference in Miami, with officials saying they expect the first product from the partnership to launch in 2015. The announcement comes two days after reports surfaced that Google will begin using Intel processors in its Google Glass smart headsets, replacing the CPUs from Texas Instruments that had been used to power the devices. The Luxottica alliance is the most recent move by Intel in the rapidly growing Internet of things (IoT) and wearable device spaces. Since taking over as Intel CEO last year, Brian Krzanich has made those markets key focuses for the company. There were few details given regarding the deal with Luxottica, which makes such eyewear brands as Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue Eyewear and Persol. "The growth of wearable technology is creating a new playing field for innovation," Krzanich said in a statement. "We expect the combination of our expertise to help drive a much faster pace of innovation and push the envelope of what's possible."
The IoT is expected to have a significant impact on businesses worldwide. Cisco Systems officials have said there are about 25 billion connected devices and systems—everything from notebooks, tablets and smartphones to home appliances, cars and industrial systems—worldwide, and that will grow to as many as 50 billion by 2020. Cisco CEO John Chambers has said that the financial impact on businesses globally will be as much as $19 trillion by the end of the decade.