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Intel reportedly buys wearable firm Basis for $100m despite Apple and Google interest

Could help the chipmaker get a grip on the smartwatch market
Tue Mar 04 2014, 16:34
Intel Edison Quark-based develipment board

CHIPMAKER Intel apparently is the winner of bidding for wearable technology company Basis, sources close to the matter have revealed, swallowing the small firm for $100m.

Basis makes wristwatch health trackers, so the acquisition doesn't come as much of a surprise considering Intel's recent focus on wearables.

It was rumoured that Basis was talking to Google and Apple regarding a buyout, but it seems that Intel has snatched the prize.

Intel made its first foray into the wearables market at CES, unveiling its own smartwatch and a Bluetooth headset device along with the SD-card sized Edison chip. It's likely that the chipmaker will use Basis to launch its own wearable technology designs and gain presence in the market.

Rivals such as Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics provide most of the sensors for wearables, so Intel will have some catching up to do.

It was rumoured that Google would launch a smartwatch last October, when it bought watchmaker WIMM, but that hasn't amounted to anything. Not yet, anyway.

A project codenamed Gem was said to be heavily based on Google Now functionality and an extension of the WIMM One smartwatch that is powered by Android.

Apple, too, has been rumoured to be bringing a smartwatch to market for some time, but rumours have so far only led to dead ends. The Cupertino firm reportedly is testing an electronic watch that has some of the functions found on its iPhone. Sources claimed over a year ago that Foxconn was working on technologies for wearable computers and improving the power efficiencies of displays. µ

 

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