The Intel of things: How the chip giant plans to own IoT

intel things chip giant plans iot busniess of apis confernce
Attendees at the 2014 Business of APIs conference. (Image: Rex St. John)
Intel is trying to move swiftly to capitalize on its investment in the Internet of Things. Basis Science, the wearable smart watch company that the chip maker brought earlier this year for a reported $100 million, is set to launch a new device, and Intel is looking to leverage all the data devices like it generate in the era of the quantified self.

“The idea is to empower people in wellness and fitness,” said Basis co-founder Marco Della Torre at an Intel sponsored conference in New York City. The Business of API’s Conference held earlier this month focused on the growing petabytes of data wearables are expected to generate in the next few years. Della Torre said that the amount of data generated was doubling every 12 months — by 2020 there will be some 50 billion new consumer devices churning out even more information.

Intel hopes one of those wearables will be the Basis Peak, a $200 smart fitness and health tracking watch due out in time for the holiday shopping season. The new model assesses heart rate by monitoring blood flow with an optical sensor, as well as measuring galvanic skin response, skin temperature, and body position using a 3-axis accelerometer. Della Torre said it would also last for several days on a single charge and use the data to help wearers set daily goals.

Related: Intel’s new role — the glue that holds the Internet of Things together

“We’re looking at how to use information to change people’s behavior,” he explained.

One of the major improvements of the new model is its reported ability to monitor one’s heart rate while the wearer is exercising, the company said in an interview before the conference. The current model cannot do so, while competitors, such as the $199 Mio Alpha watch already boast such a feature.

Della Torre emphasized that society is progressing from a BYOD to a BYOW — bring your own wearable — culture. He described how this Internet of things would include everything from real-time video streams of service personnel dealing with customers that are identified using facial recognition software to watches that act as security passes. He pointed out that the Peak will be “a full 24/7 experience” that even measures how much REM sleep versus deep sleep a wearer is getting.

“We’re looking at how to use information to change behaviors.”

The trick will be how to use such data in a “constructive rather than subversive” way, said Della Torre, referring to the Glasshole backlash against Google’s device. Part of that solution will depend on the answer to, “What data are you comfortable with me sharing to customize the experience?” he said.

Related: The first stylish wearable for women is also practically useless

With Google and Apple also eyeing the fitness/wearable market, Della Torre argues that watches are the most natural wearable form factor. Intel and Basis are working with Fossil, for example, to develop watches that appeal to the mass market.

For many years, Intel has demonstrated smart homes and devices aimed at healthcare and supporting the aging boomer population. It has also been piqued by its failure to translate the success it enjoyed in the desktop computing market into the exploding mobile and connected car arenas. This time, Intel seems determined not to let the Internet of Things pass it by.


Intel answers Qualcomm's new PC processors by pairing Core and Atom in 'Foveros'

Intel has announced a new packaging technology called 'Foveros' that makes it easier for the company to place multiple chips together on one package. That includes chips based on different Intel architectures, like Core and Atom.

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.

Our favorite fitness trackers make it fun to keep moving

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.

Intel's discrete graphics will be called 'Xe,' IGP gets Adapative Sync next year

Intel has officially dubbed its discrete graphics product Intel Xe, and the company also provided details about its Gen11 IGP. The latter will include adaptive sync support and will arrive in 2019.
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Meet the MIT scientist who’s growing semi-sentient cyborg houseplants

Elowan is a cybernetic plant that can respond to its surroundings. Tethered by a few wires and silver electrodes, the plant-robot hybrid can move in response to bioelectrochemical signals that reflect the plant’s light demands.
Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.
Emerging Tech

Delivery robot goes up in flames while out and about in California

A small meal-delivery robot suddenly caught fire in Berkeley, California, on Friday. The blaze was quickly tackled and no one was hurt, but the incident is nevertheless a troubling one for the fledgling robot delivery industry.
Emerging Tech

High-tech dancing robot turns out to be a guy in a costume

A Russian TV audience was impressed recently by an adult-sized "robot" that could dance and talk. But when some people began pointing out that its actions were a bit odd, the truth emerged ... it was a fella in a robot suit.
Emerging Tech

MIT’s smart capsule could be used to release drugs in response to a fever

Researchers have developed a 3D-printed capsule which can monitor patients' vital signs, transmit this information to a connected device, and release drugs in response to symptoms.
Emerging Tech

‘Crop duster’ robot is helping reseed the Great Barrier Reef with coral

In a world first, an undersea robot has delivered microscopic coral larvae to the Great Barrier Reef. Meet Larvalbot: the robot "crop duster" which dispenses coral babies on troubled reefs.
Emerging Tech

Self-driving dirt rally vehicle offers crash course in autonomous car safety

Georgia Tech's AutoRally initiative pushes self-driving cars to their limit by getting scaled-down autonomous vehicles to drive really, really fast and aggressively on dirt roads. Here's why.

Cities looking to get smart take a lesson from an iconic shopping mall

From Disney World to the Mall of America, public venues are becoming microcosms for smart city projects. We dove into both, to show what government officials can learn – and what you can expect from your city.