Intel CEO says new Basis tracker will launch this year

By Aditi Pai
07:33 am
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Basis Carbon SteelAt a recent event, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that activity tracker company Basis Science will release a new version of its device sometime this year, according to a report from TechCrunch.

Intel acquired Basis Science in March for an undisclosed sum, but inconfirmed reports claimed that the deal was somewhere between $100 million and $150 million.

The Basis Band includes an optical blood flow monitor, a 3-axis accelerometer, a perspiration sensor, plus skin and ambient temperature sensors. In advance of CES this year, Basis unveiled more advanced sleep tracking as well as an aesthetic upgrade called the Basis Carbon Steel edition. Soon after, the company announced that the Basis Band would be available at Best Buy – the first brick-and-mortar retail channel for the company.

Krzanich also explained at the event that Intel wants to integrate Basis' technology into other form factors. Some of these new wearable devices may be unveiled at New York's Fashion Week, which begins September 4th, but the TechCrunch report only said to expect Intel-based wearables to hit the runway.

Intel is the most recent in growing list of companies that are focusing on making their health sensing wearable devices more fashionable. In fact, a few have even partnered with designers to help make their devices more stylish. 

In July, Tory Burch released a line of accessories that users can purchase to wear with their wristworn Fitbit Flex. The new Tory Burch products include two designer bracelets in printed silicone, and a brass bracelet and necklace.

Last week, at the US Open, designer Ralph Lauren equipped ball boys with form fitting black tee-shirts, emblazoned with the Ralph Lauren logo, that track users’ biometrics. Ralph Lauren teamed with health sensing apparel company OMsignal to make the garments.

Intel has been active in the digital health space in other ways recently.

In August, Intel partnered with the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), a nonprofit organization focused on Parkinson’s disease research, to study symptom patterns in Parkinson’s patients. During the multiphase research study, patients will monitor their symptoms with wearable devices and researchers will use a big data analytics platform to then analyze the information gathered.

Later that month, Intel announced that it had partnered with headphone maker SMS Audio to develop biometric-sensing earbuds, which the companies plan to launch later this year. The earbuds are powered by Valencell’s PerformTek technology. Rapper 50 Cent is a majority owner in SMS Audio.

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