Intel forges ahead with wearable tech, acquires Basis smartwatch maker (Updated)

intel mini pc nuc apollo lake celeron processor logo

Earlier this month, a rumor linked Intel with the purchase of Basis, the company which produces the Basis health tracker smartwatch, for approximately $100 million. The news came from TechCrunch, where anonymous sources said the deal had been closed, and the price may even have reached $150 million.

Updated on 03-26-2014 by Andy: Intel has now officially announced it has acquired Basis, which will help accelerate its “wearable products focus, and bring access to new technology.” In the press release, Intel briefly describes its interest in the wearables market, saying its strategy is to “create wearable reference devices, SoCs, and other technology platforms.” 

Basis confirms it’ll become part of Intel’s new devices group, adding that existing customers shouldn’t worry, it’ll be business as usual at the firm. Intel also states the Basis team will continue to work on its own products, but also that it’ll soon “begin work on future wearable initiatives, working closely with the Intel team.”

Basis B1 Carbon Steel

We’re fans of the Basis B1 smartwatch, a comprehensive and capable device, which recently received a software update to include detailed sleep analysis. Intel doesn’t make hardware though, so what does it want with Basis? The chip manufacturer has clear aspirations in the wearable technology market, and wants an Intel chip inside the next generation of devices.

At CES this year, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich spoke at length about its plans, saying the company’s goal is have its chips powering our wearables. “If something computes and connects, it does it best with Intel inside,” he said. Intel also demonstrated a set of smart earphones, a prototype smartwatch, and Jarvis, a personal assistant stored inside a Bluetooth earpiece.

Intel Smart EarBuds
Intel Smart EarBuds

Intel has been gearing up to make a big push into wearable tech for some time. In summer 2013, Krzanich said in an interview that Intel-powered wearables “for eyes and ears” would start hitting shelves in early 2014. Intel’s CTO preempted Jarvis’ capabilities in an interview around the same time, and stated wearable tech was “gaining momentum inside Intel Labs.” Subsequently, Intel made a large investment in Thalmic Labs, makers of the cool MYO armband, and purchased gesture control specialist Omek Interactive.

The acquisition of Basis adds a strong team with direct experience in producing a cool wearable product, into which it could potentially insert Intel power in the future. Intel also has a history of producing reference design hardware, which is then licensed by other manufacturers, and turned into a retail-ready product. Intel’s purchase of Basis certainly does neatly fit in with Intel’s current strategy.

Article originally published on 03-04-2014


Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…

The Tacs Nato-Lens is a watch for those who live life through a camera lens

Not all watches have to be round, or connect to your phone. The Tacs Nato-Lens is a stylish piece of wristwear with a design inspired by classic SLR cameras, making it a geeky timepiece for the camera and watch fan.

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for March 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.

Tips and tricks to get you started with your new Fitbit Inspire HR

The Inspire HR may be an entry-level fitness tracker in Fitbit's lineup, but the device still has plenty of features to explore. These are our favorite tips and tricks to help you use the Inspire HR to its fullest potential.

How three simple words could be the difference between life and death

What3Words’ app-based address system gives a three-word code to every three-meter-square patch on the planet, with its accuracy and ease of use now catching the attention of first responders in the U.K.

The Moto G7 Power, with its massive battery, is now available for purchase

After a number of leaks and rumors, the Motorola Moto G7, Moto G7 Play, and Moto G7 Power are finally here. The devices represent quite a spec bump over the previous-generation Moto G6 phones, yet still come at a reasonable price.

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.

HMD Global admits Nokia 7 Plus handsets sent user data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.

Wring the most out of iOS with the best Siri commands

You may not know all the things you can say to Siri -- after all, Apple never released an official list of commands for its virtual assistant. Thankfully, we've compiled a list of the best Siri commands to help you out.