Recon Instruments, a tech company hatched out of a class project at Sauder, has just been acquired by Intel, a move that will enable the founders to make an even greater impact. Intel had been investing in Recon since 2013.
CEO Dan Eisenhardt came up with the idea for Recon’s high-tech goggles with a team in the class Technology Entrepreneurship offered by Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School. He and his group were encouraged to keep thinking through their technology and business plan, and so after graduating, he founded Recon with his teammates: UBC MBA alumni Darcy Hughes and Fraser Hall, and UBC engineering alumnus Hamid Abdollahi.
They went on to create and patent an innovation in ski goggles with a heads-up display that shows the user real-time information, including speed, altitude, distance travelled and temperature. To the wearer, it appears as if the screen is a few feet in front of them.
From there, they launched a series of improved goggles and an attachment that could be sold separately and inserted in other goggle brands, before releasing Jet earlier this year – glasses designed for runners and cyclists with an ultra-lightweight attachment.
Jet can take photos and videos, connect to Wi-Fi and the user’s smartphone, and features patented glance detection technology enabling it to turn on instantly when the user looks at it, and off again when they look away.
In a blog post on Recon’s website, Eisenhardt called the Intel acquisition a “tremendous opportunity” for Recon.
“We’ll have the resources to successfully grow,” he wrote. “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.”
Eisenhardt also makes clear that Recon will remain in Vancouver, and retain its talent, brand and entrepreneurial spirit.
An announcement on Intel’s website gave some insight into their plans with Recon in the growing field of wearable technology.