Intel probably deemed the effort needed to recover from Basis recalls unnecessary, instead pulling the plug on wearables altogether.
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Intel retreated from Basis, its fitness tracker brand, last year under the pressure of a hot recall order for its Peak watch. And it’s going to keep it tucked inside wherever it is.
Engadget talked with Dr. Jerry Bautista, vice president of Intel’s wearables unit, about the future of Basis. Bautista said that the strategy from this point is with third-party manufacturers as it has done with New Balance and its RunIQ and Tag Heuer as well. The partnerships will allow “iconic brands [to] focus on the product in a way we can’t.”
Intel is certainly making headway with its silicon, as it is wont to do. But, like the Ruby box you see above, you won’t be seeing Basis on retail shelves anytime soon.
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After recalling the Basis Peak and Basis B1 wearables and offering full refunds to their owners, Intel is reportedly taking a step back in its wearables development. The company vehemently denies, though, that it is stepping away from the arena.
TechCrunch is reporting from its sources that Intel has informed employees in its New Devices Group of major changes to the unit’s mission that could result in massive layoffs. It was not clear at the time if the scaling down would lead to an ultimate end of Intel’s pursuit of powering wearables, something it wanted to do with its initial acquisition of Basis and another startup called Recon. One project that “will never [likely] see the light of day” is the Basis Ruby fitness wearable, a pictured of which leaked with this news.
Intel issued a statement over the weekend to deny its withdrawal from the wearables market.
Intel is in no way stepping back from the wearables business. In fact, we have several products in the works that we are very excited about, as well as prior launches that highlight our wearable technology such as the TAG Heuer Connected watch and recent Oakley Radar Pace smart eyewear.
Indeed, it may provide and tune processors for those purposes to other manufacturers, but the statement does not clear up whether it will ever catch back up with its consumer efforts of the past.
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Intel is effectively tearing itself away from the business of fitness trackers. It began with its Basis Peak device overheating and causing injuries to its users which forced the company to recall the band. It later decided to shut down its software platform and all support for it on December 31.Since then, it has been offering Peak refunds and health data exports. But there’s also another Basis ...
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You may have forgotten all about this, or never heard the news in the first place, but a couple of years back, Intel plunked down a reported $100 million to acquire a startup called Basis Science. The move was part of a larger expansion effort into the world of wearable device production and distribution, though it turned out to be a catastrophically bad investment.Not only did the Basis Peak fitness watch fail to amass the mainstream popularity of Pebbles,
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