Rumour: Intel Quietly Pulling Out of Wearables
Ron Perillo / 4 years ago
Intel’s push towards wearable technology may not be as strong as it seems. According to TechCrunch, sources close to Intel have informed them that the company is laying off a major portion of its New Devices Group, a wing off of the main company built to develop wearable technology. Intel has been making an aggressive play in the market by partnering up with Fossil, Tag Heuer and even purchased Basis, a smart watch company for 100M two years ago. In 2015, Intel also partnered up with Recon, who develops heads-up display wearables for sports active users such as snowboarders and cyclists.
Intel’s Basis Peak was recalled earlier in June for overheating issues and was shortly discontinued altogether after refunds were issued. Intel even shut down existing web service support which completely killed off the product. Layoffs within the NDG group will most affect unannounced the future release of products such as the Basis Ruby, considering the Intel’s displeasure with the Basis Peak’s results. The Basis Ruby was originally going to be an upgraded version of the Basis Peak and targeted for women. It was then pivoted to be a unisex watch, retaining an improved look and smaller profile compared to the Peak, and is going to be positioned in the market directly against FitBit’s Charge 2.
After reaching out to Intel, the company denies that they are stepping back completely from wearables, citing existing and upcoming products such as the TAG Heuer Connected smart watch and Oakley Radar Pace smart eyewear.