Taking the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) by storm this week in Las Vegas, Intel (INTC) made several announcements for wearables, and a rebranding of McAfee to Intel Security. During a pre-show keynote, Intel's Brian Krzanich outlined a range of products, initiatives and strategic relationships aimed at accelerating innovation across a range of mobile and wearable devices as well as individual inventors' own connected creations.
Citing numerous immersive and intuitive technologies that Intel will begin to sell Krrzanich said that the company is empowering an era of integrated computing defined not by the device, but by the integration of technology into people's lifestyles in ways that offer individuals new utility and value. Krzanich said Intel is actively pursuing a range of products and initiatives, with the goal of accelerating wearable device innovation.
For example, Intel unveiled a reference design for smart earbuds that provide biometric and fitness information. Aimed at fitness enthusiasts, the earbuds are combining biometrics with the most common accessory people where when they exercise -- stereo earbuds. The Intel smart earbuds provide full stereo audio, and monitor heart rate and pulse, while the applications on the user’s phone keep track of run distance and calories burned. Also included is Intel-developed software, allowing the wearer to both precision-tune workouts and the earbuds act as a coach, automatically selecting music that matches the target heart rate profile.
Also, Intel has developed a reference design for a hands-free, smart headset that is always ready to engage and can integrate with existing personal assistant technologies. (Pictured above.)
Intel announced collaborations with Barneys New York, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and Opening Ceremony to explore and bring to market new smart wearable technologies, and to increase dialogue and cooperation between the fashion and technology industries. Intel will work with CFDA to create a community for technology developers and fashion designers to network, match-make, cultivate and exchange ideas on wearable technology.
"The collaborations we announced today are indicative of Intel's collective and conscious approach to the wearable market," said Ayse Ildeniz, vice president, Business Development and Strategy of Intel's New Devices Group. "Through these initiatives we will combine Intel's leading technologies with Opening Ceremony's design prowess, Barneys New York's track record to identify the next consumer trends, and CFDA's commitment to advance innovation within the fashion industry. Our shared vision is to accelerate wearable technology innovation and create products that both enhance peoples' lives and are desirable to wear."
In addition to developing reference devices for wearable technology, Intel will offer a number of accessible, low-cost entry platforms. These are aimed at helping lower entry barriers for individuals and small companies to create innovative Internet-connected wearables or other small form factor devices. Underscoring this point, Krzanich announced Intel Edison, a new Intel Quark technology-based computer housed in an SD card form factor with built-in wireless capabilities and support for multiple operating systems. From prototype to production, Intel Edison will enable rapid innovation and product development by a range of inventors, entrepreneurs and consumer product designers when available this summer.
Krzanich also unveiled the Intel Security brand, which will identify Intel products and services in the security segment, and disclosed plans to transition McAfee products to the Intel Security brand while retaining the familiar red shield. Intel Security this year will offer Intel Device Protection technology for Android, and will offer elements of McAfee's security solutions for mobile devices for free.
"The complexity of keeping digital identities safe grows as mobile applications and devices become a more important part of our daily lives," Krzanich said. "Intel's intent is to intensify our efforts dedicated to making the digital world more secure, and staying ahead of threats to private information on mobile and wearable devices."