Safety recall could spell the end for the Basis Band

By Jonah Comstock
04:41 pm

Intel subsidiary Basis is recalling its Peak fitness tracking watch. The company halted production of the device at the end of June due to an overheating issue that affected just 0.2 percent of the watches on the market, but had hoped to fix the issue with a software update. Now, developers are throwing in the towel, issuing a voluntary recall, and offering full refunds.

"We had hoped to update the software on your watch to address the problem," Josh Walden, SVP and General Manager of the Intel New Technology Group, wrote on the myBasis website. "Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we aren’t able to develop such a solution without completely compromising the user experience. As a result, we are asking that you return your Basis Peak watch and authorized accessories for a full refund at your earliest convenience. This was a tough decision, but your safety is our top priority."

Lest anyone continue to use the device anyway, Basis will stop sending out update emails and stop supporting the devices, though customers will be able to access and download data until the end of the year.

"We are issuing this safety recall of the Basis Peak watch because the watch can overheat, which could result in burns or blisters on the skin surface. It is important that you stop using your watch immediately and return it," Walden wrote. "Although we are stopping support for Basis Peak immediately, you can access your data until December 31, 2016. After that date, the Basis Peak services will be turned off. Once we shut down the services, your watch will no longer be able to sync, which will cause it to stop working."

Notably, the detailed recall announcement included no reference to a new device, nor has Basis released any new hardware since it was acquired by Intel in 2014. Though it's impossible to say for sure, this could very well be the end of Basis, an important figure in the early history of the fitness tracker space.

"On behalf of the Basis Science team, I want to personally apologize for this situation," Walden wrote. "We know that many of you love using your Basis Peak watches and have made it part of your daily lives, and we are very sorry for the disruption this will cause you."

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