Intel unveils new gadgets targeting consumer device manufacturers


The world’s largest chipmaker Intel is venturing into manufacturing wearable computing devices such as earbuds that monitor heart rate and smart headsets.

Image: Flickr user nodomain1
Image: Flickr user nodomain1

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Intel CEO Brian Krzanich showcased wearable electronic gadgets in an effort to get back on track after their less-than-stellar performance in the smartphone market.

According to Reuters, the decline in PC and smartphone sales is pushing Intel and other tech companies to dish out movement-sensing bracelets, biometric patches, and other forms of intelligent and connected clothing that may become a hit with consumers and turn into major markets.

“We’re looking at a broad ecosystem of wearables, not just the device or the silicon,” said Krzanich, a chip manufacturing and operations guru. The Intel CEO who replaced Paul Otellini in May has devoted a new division that identifies future technology trends to make sure the company does not fall behind.

At the CES event Krzanich introduced some gadgets that they are promoting to consumer device manufacturers. He unveiled a tiny computer built with their low-power Quark technology and packaged in an SD-card. This would allow clothing and gadget makers to easily integrate the device in wearable products. The company is even collaborating with luxury retailers Barney’s New York to develop smart bracelets that look more like high fashion items rather than something made by an engineer.

Krzanich also showcased Intel’s take on stereo earbuds designed for exercise enthusiasts, and a Bluetooth earpiece and microphone that could improve the responsiveness of personal assistant smartphone software like Apple’s Siri.

“The real key here is seamless, no buttons, always listening, but it still has that low-power capability,” Krzanich said.