Google has glasses, Apple (supposedly) has a watch. It appears that Intel may be in the market for wearable computing, as well. According to a recent report from TechCrunch, the software company has just purchased health tracker developer Basis for between $100 and $150 million. Interestingly, Apple and Google were both supposedly bidding for the same company.
Basis is known for its wristwatch health trackers. It has captured approximately seven percent of the market, which isn’t too bad considering the company is small in comparison to Jawbone, which owns 21 percent of the market.
Intel is not a hardware maker, at least not yet, so it is interesting to see this acquisition. TechCrunch speculates that the reason a chipset maker would be interested in a wristwatch company is that Basis has “a team that has built one of the most powerful and comprehensive wearables to date, which it then can set upon its own designs.”
Right now, Qualcom, Texas Instrument and STMicroelectronics provide most of the wearable computer sensors. Intel has a lot of catching up to do. It is likely that the company will use Basis’ strong online suite as a foundation for creating a complete solution package that may entice hardware manufacturers.
Intel doesn’t want to be stuck at the back of the line like it is right now with mobile chipsets. The company suffered significant losses by not jumping into the mobile chipset market early on. Now, it flounders to compete with other suppliers who have been making mini system-on-a-chip technology for years. Getting ahead of the game with wearables might be what the company needs to have a leg up against the upcoming competition.