Intel invests $25 million in smart eyewear company Vuzix

Vuzix M100
Intel is making a big investment in its future – and no, we’re not talking about the company’s ubiquitous commercials featuring The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons. The technology giant known for its processors recently made an investment of nearly $25 million in a company called Vuzix, which specializes in smart eyewear.

On Friday, Vuzix announced Intel’s $24.8 million investment, which it says will be used for general working capital to quicken the company’s ability to introduce consumers to its “fashion-based wearable display products.” The transaction gives Intel about 30 percent of the Rochester, New York-based company.

Vuzix dubs itself the “world leader in video eyewear technology.” Its stable of smart eyewear products includes variations for entertainment, enterprise, research and “prosumer” uses.

The company’s M100 smart glasses went on sale for $1,000 a pair on Amazon in November. The smart eyewear device’s bulk housing its technology can be attached to the right arm of a pair of spectacles. Vuzix also teamed up with Lenovo to market the M100 smart glasses in China.

In December, the Wall Street Journal reported that Intel would supply the processor for the next version of Google Glass, expected to be unveiled later this year.

Intel has recently partnered with Italian eyewear brand Luxottica, watch brand Fossil Group and fashion brand Opening Ceremony. With its investment in Vuzix, it appears Intel is making sure it has a healthy and diversified position in the future of smart wearable technology.

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