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Intel eyes the future of wearables with Recon acquisition

Andew Starykowicz wearing Recon Jet sunglasses

Intel has confirmed the completed acquisition of Recon Instruments, maker of the Recon Jet smart eyewear for sports and high-intensity environments. Recon was formerly an Intel Capital portfolio company. The acquisition gives Intel ‘a talented, experienced wearable computing team that will help expand the market for head mounted display products and technologies.’

Intel notes that existing customers and retailers of Recon products can ‘rest assured they’ll continue selling, enhancing and marketing their products under the Recon brand without disruption.’ The Recon team will also partner with Intel’s New Devices Group to develop smart device platforms for a broader set of customers and market segments.

It’s been a busy few months for Recon. After an original unveiling in June 2014, the company’s Recon Jet smart glasses started shipping in April 2015. Then, in early June, Recon introduced Refuel, ‘a groundbreaking smart nutrition app for Recon Jet smart eyewear.’ And, last week, Recon announced a partnership with professional triathlete and IRONMAN champion Andrew Starykowicz.

Intel is seen as an ideal partner for Recon. Intel’s CEO, Brian Krzanich, made his commitment to wearable technology very clear shortly after assuming his current role in 2013. He reaffirmed that commitment in his keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show this January. Brian Krzanich and his team, including New Technology Group head Josh Walden, are understood to share Recon’s vision for the ‘potential of smart eyewear in the consumer and enterprise markets, and this deal reflects that shared vision.’

Dan Eisenhardt, CEO of Recon Instruments added, “As part of Intel, we’ll have the resources to continue the mission we began with the creation of Recon in 2008, but with a level of efficacy and speed that’s beyond the reach of a pioneer in a new market. We’ll stay right here in Vancouver, and we’ll retain our talent, our brand, and our entrepreneurial spirit.”

He continued, “Thanks to Intel, however, we’ll gain two very important strengths:

  • “We’ll have the resources to successfully grow. This growth will extend to our developer relations program, which will help us establish and sustain a strong app ecosystem.
  • “In addition, we’ll have the opportunity to draw from Intel’s extensive technology portfolio. As the world’s most successful semiconductor company, Intel has valuable technical resources and expertise to bring to the table.”

Josh Walden, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s New Technology Group said, “We are excited to welcome the Recon team to Intel, and we look forward to the amazing experiences we’ll invent together.”

Intel adds that the growth of wearable technology is creating a new playing field for innovation, and the company has ‘made tremendous strides in developing products and technologies to capture this next wave of computing.’

For example, in the last six months, Intel unveiled a multiyear R&D collaboration with Luxottica Group and its Oakley brand to ‘fuse premium, luxury and sports eyewear with smart technology’. It also announced a partnership with TAG Heuer and Google to launch a Swiss smartwatch powered by Intel technology and Android Wear.




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