Intel already has a foot in the door with RealSense, a technology that uses multiple cameras to achieve a wide range of fancy effects. Building an AR headset around RealSense seems like a logical extension of that technology, especially with all the hype and excitement surrounding the alternate reality fields as of late.
Citing people who have supposedly been briefed on Intel's plans, The Wall Street Journal says the Santa Clara chip maker is likely to license its headset design to other manufacturers rather than market its own version to consumers. It doesn't have any partners lined up at the moment, though that's not surprising since it doesn't have a prototype available yet, either.
Intel is still trying to figure out how best to utilize its RealSense technology, and AR could be it. In the beginning, RealSense was pitched as something that could bolster laptops, desktops, and tablets for things like gesture control and measuring the distance of objects in the real world. But more recently, Intel's been looking to expand RealSense into other markets, including drones and robots.
Now there's talk of an AR headset, which isn't as far out of Intel's wheelhouse as some might think. Just the opposite, among Intel's acquisitions are at least five companies working on AR technology. One of those companies is Recon Instruments, which builds smart eyewear for athletes and active individuals.
The big competition for such a headset is obviously HoloLens, though Microsoft left room for improvement.