Intel (News - Alert) is not entirely new to the market of smart wearables. It acquired Basis Science earlier this year—creator of the B1 Band smart watch. But not to be outdone by announcements of the new Apple (News - Alert) watch and the development of other smart devices, Intel said recently that it will be releasing an updated version of the Basis Band this November.
According to Re/code, the new Basis Peak should improve and expand on the features it made available in the B1 Band. The new device is said to include a health monitor that can count steps and track heart rate, and it will also be able to sync with a smartphone and display phone notifications. Jef Holove, the general manager of Basis, says the company's new smartwatch will focus on the essentials that users are looking for.
"We're not trying to be a full-on smartwatch, but we will be able to do some of the essentials users want," Holove said of the Peak.
The Peak will arrive in November in two colors—matte black and brushed silver—and will come with a completely-functional touchscreen. The screen is one display element that will largely differentiate it from its predecessor, which only had four touchpoints on its face that allowed users to scroll through options.
The touchscreen, which is made with Gorilla Glass, will lead users first to a heart rate sensor that is reportedly much more advanced than the one found on the B1 Band. It will use an optical heart rate sensor that Holove has commented is able to replace a chest strap. Furthermore, the watch is reported to have interoperability with iOS and Android (News - Alert) smartphones, is waterproof for use in the pool, ocean, or rain, has a sleep tracking function, and can operate on a single charge for up to four days. All that, and it will have a more powerful processor than its older brother.
The watch is expected to launch with Bluetooth LE capabilities but without the ability to accept notifications from users' smartphones. That feature, Re/code insists, will be available at some point following the initial release.
Intel purchased Basis Science for approximately $100 million this past spring, reported TMC, a purchase about which Steven Holmes, the vice president of Intel's New Devices Group, said, "If it's a computer, we want Intel inside. Wearables is the next stage of computing, which is going to be very personal." The global chip maker was reportedly left behind when smartphones and tablets hit the scene late last decade, so the acquisition of Basis Science makes sense if the wearables market is to expand in a manner similar to other smart devices.
Basis Science will continue to support its older model smart watch after the Peak arrives on scene. Peak will drop with an asking price of $200—the same as the B1 Band when it launched
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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