Back in January 2014, Intel announced a joint venture with Opening Ceremony and their intent to create a smart bracelet designed for fashion conscious ladies. Today, we’ve seen the first official pictures of the new MICA, My Intelligent Communication Accessory. This high tech bracelet represents a blend of Open Ceremony’s design expertise with Intel’s technological know-how and will be released in two styles. One style features black watersnake skin, Chinese pearls and lapis stones from Madagascar. The other features a white watersnake skin, South African tiger’s eye and Russian obsidian. And compared with most wearable technology, I don’t argue that the MICA looks positively luscious. The main reason for this is because wearable technology is a blend of function and form and in almost every example to date, function clearly wins over. Here, Intel and Opening Ceremony have put that bias towards form. I’d say that the results look stylish!
From a technology perspective, Intel might not be the first brand that comes to mind when we consider wearable technology but the multinational has expressed that it’s going into wearables this year. Back in March, Intel bought wearable technology firm Basis Science, known for its health-tracking Basis band, which monitors the user’s heart rate and calorie-burning, among other things. In August, Intel and SMS Audio announced the SMS BioSport In-Ear Headphones, another collaboration project. The BioSports are capable of measuring your heartbeat and communicating with a smartphone in order to calculate how many calories you’ve burned. The BioSport Headphones use the headphone jack for power and can handle music, calling and measuring the heartbeat using ear-mounted infrared sensors.
The MICA will allow owners to receive SMS messages, meeting reminders plus other notifications, sent directly to the wrist. It features an onboard 3G modem and presumably a SIM slot too; in this respect it’ll be similar to Samsung’s Tizen-powered Galaxy Gear S in that it won’t rely on a smartphone for its Internet connection. There’s a 1.6-inch curved touchscreen equipped with tough scratch-resistant sapphire tucked away on the inside of the bracelet, designed to keep your information private. I’m also pleased to see another wearable piece of technology that comes with wireless charging. We don’t yet know the price of the MICA or that the release date other than it’ll cost “less than $1,000 at high end stores like Barney’s” and will be available “by holiday season 2014.” I am excited by this product for a few reasons. Firstly, Intel is gaining experience with wearable technology and appears to have recognised that joint ventures with specialist companies can produce excellent results. Secondly, this is one of the first examples of wearable technology that looks stylish but has additional function and finally, wireless charging. But over to our readers: what do you think? Let us know in the comments or use your favourite social network.