The next time you buy a smartwatch, the Intel Inside tag line might apply. It might happen if the rumors are true that the chip manufacturer acquired health tracker maker Basis Science.
According to TechCrunch, individuals familiar with the matter tipped that Intel has snatched Basis for at least $100 million. Another source hinted that the deal even came close to $150 million. Neither of the company has confirmed or denied the said deal.
Future in Wearables
Basis has been “in the market: and have reportedly been approaching possible takers in February. The company allegedly have spoken with tech giants such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung and it seems the latest report was the best deal for Basis. Earlier negotiations were rumored to be pegged at the sub-$100 million line.
It should be all smiles for investors such as Intel Capital, Mayfield Fund, and Northwest Venture Partners that poured more than $30 million into the business.
Basis is the maker of the Basis Health Tracker wristwatch, its only product. It’s not yet clear what Intel plans to do with the lone product of the company. The wearable tech company has a 7 percent share of the market compared to a bigger chunk at 21 percent for Jawbone.
While it might be highly unlikely that Intel will foray into consumer electronics, it wants to dive deeper into the booming niche of wearables by producing and supplying its chipset platforms. However, having the brains and manpower of Basis, who knows if Intel has plans of tweaking the product or coming up with its own design.
Intel has been trying to catch up with its competitions such as Qualcomm and Texas Instruments so this purchase of Basis can be a good boost to make its presence felt in the emerging industry. It has been elbowing its way around the world of wearables with the small, powerful but energy efficient Quark processor and the smart chip dubbed as Edison.
The chip manufacturer talked all about wearables during this year’s International CES in Las Vegas. It made clear during the event in January that it’s laser focused on making sure that its chips will be powering the wearables of the future. Last summer, its chief executive Brian Krzanich hinted that there will be wearables for the eyes and for the ears in 2014 that are powered by their chips. The company also revealed that wearable technology has been gaining momentum in its laboratories.
Prior to Basis, Intel also got hold of Omek Interactive that has been known for its gesture control technology and invested in MYO armband maker Thalmic Labs.
Fitness will be the new battleground
The purchase of Basis will also give an edge to Intel given the former has a good reputation for its health tracker. As other big names try to focus on health, Intel will be able to run alongside them. Samsung has introduced a heart rate reader on the Galaxy S5 and the purported next version of the iPhone 6 having health-centric applications as well, of course both brands also have their own dreams of making it big in the wearables niche.
Likewise, Google is also rumored to be working on a smartwatch but has been totally quiet about it. There are speculations that it will also be packed with health features.