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Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) Doubles Down on Wearable Tech with Basis Acquisition

With its acquisition of Basis Science Inc., Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) has sent a loud and clear message that it has every intention of being a leader in wearable tech.

Details were not disclosed, but TechCrunch reported that the maker of wearable devices such as the Basis B1 fitness band went to Intel for about $100 million.

basis wearable techComing on the heels of the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, where Intel Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich spent most of his keynote showing off prototype wearable tech devices, it's evident that the legendary chipmaker is hell-bent on not missing out on this market the way it did with smartphones and tablets.

"Brian Krzanich has been really clear – if it's a computer, we want Intel inside," Steven Holmes, the vice president of Intel's New Devices Group, told Wearable World News. "Wearables is the next stage of computing which is going to be very personal."

While the purchase of a device maker may seem out of character for a company known for making the chips that power tech devices, it's part of a notable shift in Intel's strategy.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel missed out on the mobile wave because its chips simply were not as suited for the demands of mobile computing as were those of its competitors, particularly designs based on technology licensed from ARM Holdings (Nasdaq ADR: ARMH).

Intel says its wearable technology prototypes are intended as "reference designs" to help third-party device makers develop new products.

But it's at least as likely that Intel wants plenty of hands-on experience with wearable tech devices to ensure that the chips they design for this market will match the requirements better than anyone else's.

Buying a company loaded with engineers who have spent a lot of time figuring out which are the best chips to put in a wearable tech device will be a huge asset for Intel.

Basis Science, by the way, uses chips made by Texas Instruments Inc. (Nasdaq: TXN), not Intel. That's the sort of design decision Intel intends to reverse.

And just as importantly, Basis also happens to be focused on an area of wearable technology that will almost certainly prove to be the most lucrative…

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  1. 000057794747 | March 28, 2014

    Wearable tech is interesting in a kind of geeky, Star Trek kind of way, but it´s only part of The Internet of Things, making everything we use daily interconnected. It has been said that using technology must become so easy and natural to use that we don´t even think about it…

  2. H. Craig Bradley | March 28, 2014


    Why didn't Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook buy a company like this instead? It looks like a more practical and rewarding tech. trend. Instead, Mark z is more interested in spending many $ billions on drones in the sky (pie-in-the sky), instant messaging, virtual reality toys, and who knows what (else) from here ? Its an age old problem that when a company can not put its vast cash hoard to productive work. Maybe Facebook should start a modest dividend as most shareholders know what to do ( with cash).

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