UPDATE: Intel has reached out to Tech Times stressing that it is not withdrawing from the wearables business at all.
"Intel is in no way stepping back from the wearables business. In fact, we have several products in the works that we are very excited about, as well as prior launches that highlight our wearable technology such as the TAG Heuer Connected watch and recent Oakley Radar Pace smart eyewear," its official statement read.
ORIGINAL STORY: To some people, the Intel wearable device range Basis is unheard of. Now, they will no longer have the opportunity to get to know this brand as the company is reportedly putting a lid on it.
What Is Basis?
When it is clear that the wearable device technology has taken off, Intel purchased a company called Basis in 2014. It is a startup making a name for itself in the fitness tracker segment.
The acquisition was integrated into Intel's New Devices Group (NDG), which is a new unit designed to spearhead Intel's wearable ambition. Basis' acquisition was followed by the takeover of Recon, which is in the business of smart eyewear manufacture.
The tech world was dutifully impressed. Intel's tech muscle has prompted some to conjure visions of game-changing wearable devices.
Intel Wearable Products
The NDG was able to develop a number of devices such as the Basis Titanium. Basis Peak, one of those that made it to the market this year, however, was immediately pulled out after consumers reported overheating issues.
Unlike Samsung, which immediately offered to replace the exploding Note 7 devices, Intel halted the sale of the Peak permanently. The company has hammered the proverbial nail in the coffin when it announced that it will stop developing the proprietary software for Peak. Other smart watches could be phased out as well.
"We are shutting down service on all our devices and apps on Dec. 31, 2016," a notification at Basis website stated. "While Peak is the only device affected by this recall, we are offering refunds for all Peak and B1 devices and accessories."
Wearable Segment Exit
One can say, therefore, that the wearable challenges at NDG must be way beyond one faulty device. There is no longer any word about Recon and the company is silent about the fate of the Basis range. A new smartwatch called Basis Ruby is purportedly in the pipeline but its launch has been stopped on its tracks.
Citing insider sources, TechCrunch revealed that Intel will be stepping back from the wearable segment and could possibly leave it for good. The report points to Intel's displeasure with the entire NDG unit. The management is said to have informed affected employees that they will only remain until the end of this year.
TechCrunch has obtained a photo of an actual Ruby device. The smartwatch seems to have sleep tracking and heart rate monitor features. The device, which looks compact, seems aimed at the mass market segment as indicated by the quality of its strap.
Ruby could have been shipped with the new version of the Basis software and gain a bit of traction in the market. It would have given NDG some respite but Intel appears determined, so its fate is already sealed.