The wearables market has fluctuated wildly and some fitness tracker companies are struggling to compete against smartwatches with multiple functionality. Back in 2014, Intel had acquired Basis Science for roughly $100 million to take its fitness devices business more seriously. However, the acquisition didn’t really help Intel push the wearable business to the next stage.
In fact, Basis’ first Intel-based product had a tendency to catch fire, and was pulled from the market, earlier this year. As a result, the company has been slowly de-emphasizing its own line of wearables for the past several years. Moreover, Intel hasn’t mentioned wearables on its earnings calls since 2014.
Reports also suggest that Intel’s wearable division New Devices Group is facing massive layoffs. Intel let go 80 per cent of the Basis workforce. Many of the people were given the opportunity to relocate to other parts of the business. As a result, the company recently announced its plan to leave the wearable space behind.
This move implies that consumers will not be able to purchase the Basis Ruby, which Intel had earlier planned to release. On the other hand, the company’s New Technologies Group, looks at cutting-edge business areas, such as augmented reality, another source told CNBC.
The product box for Ruby showcased a compact watch with sleep tracking and heart rate monitor features. Needless to say, it would have combined basic smartwatch functionalities. Besides, the smartwatch was expected to bring in a new version of the Basis software.
However, in the most recent update Intel clears that it’s “in no way” getting out of the wearables business. The organizations mentions about several products in its pipeline. Besides, the company has quite a few prior launches highlighting their wearable technology, such as the TAG Heuer Connected watch and recent Oakley Radar Pace smart eyewear.
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Bhasker is a Data Science evangelist and practitioner with proven record of thought leadership and incubating analytics practices for various organizations. With over 16 years of experience in the area of Business Analytics, he is well recognized as an expert within the industry. Earlier, Bhasker worked as Vice President at Goldman Sachs. He is B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi and MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.