Google is to shift the focus its Glass wearable technology to workplace applications, which will see the next iteration of the hardware switch to Intel chips, according to reports.
Glass is still effectively a development programme, but the hardware went on sale in the UK earlier this year for about £1,000.
Reports now suggest that Google is re-evaluating the potential market for the wearable device, and is looking to workplace rather than consumer applications.
As part of this new focus, the next version of the hardware is expected to use Intel chips in place of the ARM-based Omap processors used in the existing Glass devices, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal.
Intel also plans to promote Glass to organisations such as hospitals and the manufacturing industry, while also developing new workplace uses, the WSJ claimed.
Google Glass has had something of a troubled history. Questions have been raised over potential privacy implications if consumers wear the device wherever they go, as it has a built-in camera capable of capturing everything in the wearer's immediate vicinity.
Reports also began to surface last month that developers were losing interest in Google Glass as a consumer device.
Some had defected to rival wearable technology, such as the Oculus Rift headset, while the devices were said to be on sale on eBay for around half Google's asking price.
A workplace focus might therefore make more sense for Google. It could sidestep many of the privacy issues, and businesses would be less concerned about the high cost of a device that offers potential benefits for workers who need to see information but keep both hands free.
Intel is also making a big push into wearable technology, so a tie-up between the two firms would make sense.
Earlier this year Intel announced availability of its Edison platform aimed at wearables and the Internet of Things, plus the even smaller Quark line of system on a chip products.
The Quark technology would be the most likely replacement for an ARM chip in the next Google Glass revision if the reports are correct, but Intel and Google are keeping their cards close to their chests at the moment.
"Intel and Google have a strong relationship and work closely together across a number of different areas, but we aren't going to comment on speculation," an Intel spokesperson told V3 in response to a request for confirmation.
Google had not responded at the time of writing.
For more information on mobility, visit the Intel IT Center.
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