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Intel's Augmented Reality Plans Are Coming Into Focus

Summary

Intel's augmented reality and virtual reality investments and acquisitions likely top $1 billion to date.

Specifics surrounding Intel's augmented reality reference design remains a mystery, but given the breadcrumbs provided through mergers and acquisitions it's fair to say that consumers and investors should expect big things.

If Intel wants to turn around and resume growing top and bottom line investments then augmented reality and virtual reality need to pay off big.

Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) augmented reality plans are coming into focus after the company missed the entire smartphone revolution since inception and and despite extensive efforts to enter the market it continues to be on the outside looking in. The PC market continues to decline and Intel's recent announcement to cut 12,000 employees from the workforce is a clear indication that Intel's core business has already seen its best days. Intel outlined a plan last week to move away from PCs and focus on the cloud, IoT and connected devices.

The next technology revolution that has begun to gain is wearable computing including augmented reality smart glasses. Industry experts see a clear path forward for smart glasses to eventually replace smartphones over the next 10 years. This prediction by industry experts is not a pie in the sky prediction, but instead a reflection of investment as well as the current path of evolution and innovation.

The smartphone era is rapidly approaching replacement only levels and will result in diminishing returns for current smartphone manufacturers. Apple's business results continue to suffer as global competition and smartphone saturation have taken a toll on profits and growth.

Intel has invested in drones and robotics, but those industries will never account for billions of potential unit sales annually like smartphones. The next big revolution that's on the table is augmented reality and virtual reality that fall within the wearable device era. Intel has already invested hundreds of millions of dollars in augmented reality and virtual reality and there's no looking back. If Intel wants to turn around the company and resume to growing top and bottom line investments then augmented reality and virtual reality need to pay off big.

Intel's augmented reality and virtual reality investments and acquisitions including investments in drones likely top $1 billion to date. Intel's investment in Drone technology and IP, although outside of the scope of VR and AR, can be leveraged across AR and VR platforms. The list of notable Intel investments and acquisitions since July 2013 is provided below. The only publicly traded company that Intel Corporate has taken a stake in since July 2013 is Vuzix (NASDAQ:VUZI) when Intel invested $24.8m for a 30% stake in Vuzix, which currently sits at 24% after various warrants were exercised by shareholders.

(Acquired) - Omek Interactive (July 2013) - Intel purchased this Israeli based gesture recognition technology company for $40m.

(Invested and then Acquired) - Recon Instruments (September 2013) - Intel Capital invested an unspecified dollar amount in Recon and acquired the company in June 2015 (21 months after initial investment) for a reported sum of $175m.

(Invested and then Acquired) - Basis Science...


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