News Column

Intel serious about wearable devices

July 10, 2014

Naushad K Cherrayil Staff Reporter



Dubai

Wearable devices are going to be the next big thing and Intel has created a division to look at exploring the growing market opportunity, Nassir Nauthoa, General Manager for Intel Gulf, told Gulf News.

"We have announced a new ultra-small chip called Quark to power wearable devices," he said

Intel had demonstrating a new smartwatch and earbuds with a built-in heart-rate monitor at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show in January.

The Santa Clara, California, company which dominated the PC chip industry was slow to expand beyond computer arena and was late into the smartphone and tablet space dominated by Qualcomm, ARM Holdings and Samsung Electronics.

ABI Research reported that activity trackers dominated sales of wearable devices in the first quarter of this year, outselling much-hyped smartwatches by 4 to 1, with 2.35 million devices shipped.

"Activity trackers are currently the most viable consumer electronics wearable device category, because they have a clear use case that cannot be matched by smartphones, in contrast to smartwatches," Nick Spencer, senior practice director at ABI Research, said in a emailed statement .

He said that end users have been happy to ditch their watches and use smartphones to tell the time, so extending smartphone functions to the watch is a weak use case and retrograde step.

According to research firm International Data Corporation, shipments of wearables are projected to reach almost 112 million units in 2018, up from less than 20 million this year, but it is still a tiny fraction of the more than one billion smartphones that will be sold this year.

Intel does not want the same thing to happen in the wearable devices arena and are serious about it.

"Wearable devices are on Intel's radar and are serious to get involved with. The current set of devices is dependent on mobile devices and that needs to change," Nauthoa said.

"We will drive the market as we will have the best technology in this space," he said.


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Source: Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)


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