Intel has been having a hard time catching up with rivals in the ARM side of the fence when it comes to mobile devices, most especially with smartphones. The chip maker, however, is quite intent in recovering lost time and plans to strike hard at a rising device category: wearables.
The fact that Intel will be flaunting some wearable technology at CES next week comes from the company CEO himself, Brian Krzanich. Krzanich has had the unenviable task of steering the company towards a world that is moving more and more towards non-traditional computing devices, an arena that Intel has long held reign. It has been making some progress in the tablet space, which is a sort of middle ground between fully mobile devices and, say, a laptop computer. It still has to reach critical mass in smartphones and yet it is already setting it eyes on an even more esoteric device category.
Intel has indeed been busy laying the groundwork for such an endeavor. At its Intel Developers Forum last September, the company unveiled the Intel Quark, an ultra small and ultra low-power microchip that is clearly intended to be the driving force in future Intel-powered technologies such as wearable devices and ingestible medical tools. Immediately following that, the company added to its roster former engineers and designers who have worked on Nike FuelBand and Oakley Airwave Goggles.
Krzanich’s tone sounds as if Intel has almost but given up on the smartphone market, which turned out to be a tougher nut to crack than it anticipated. Instead, it seems to be putting its eggs into the wearables market which, according to the CEO, is wide open. Intel will also be announcing a newer and better Quark chip at CES 2014 next week, but actual products won’t be ready until at least after April, with commercial availability still a good year away.