Intel Places Bet on Google Glass Competitor

Recon Jet sunglasses optical control

There are several devices coming to market that seek to compete with Google Glass, but until this point none have had support from an industry heavyweight. That changes today now that Intel has invested in Recon Instruments, makers of the sports-oriented Jet heads up display.

Neither Intel nor Recon have specified how much money has changed hands, but the move suggests that Intel is getting serious about competing in the wearable tech space. The funding will support Recon’s product development, marketing and global sales expansion.

MORE: Top 5 Google Glass Alternatives

“This is an area of significant focus for Intel Capital, and our investment in Recon Instruments is a key part of our approach to innovation in this emerging space,” Mike Bell, Intel’s vice president and general manager of the New Devices Group, said in a press release.

The Recon Jet features a heads-up display module right below its eyepiece that only powers on when you need it. It also comes with an optical touch sensor that allows you to swipe between apps with ease.

Expected to hit the market for around $400 to $600, the Jet comes equipped with an HD camera, a speaker, microphone and GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology. During our Jet hands-on, Recon Instruments told us that the heads-up display is purposely placed below the eye because it’s a more natural and relaxed position for the user.

The Recon Jet is slated for a 2013 release date while Google Glass isn’t likely to hit the mass market until 2014. The Jet is just one of the few wearable tech gadgets that has stepped into the spotlight since Google Glass shipped out to developers. Device such as the Vuzix M100 and Oculon Smart Glasses also offer a hands-free head-mounted Android experience, and are still currently in development. 

Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa has been reporting on all things mobile for since early 2013. When she’s not reviewing gadgets, she’s usually browsing patent databases or interviewing experts to track down the hottest tech trends before they even happen. Lisa holds a B.A. in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and has contributed to The International Business Times, The New York Daily News and Guitar World Magazine.
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