After pictures of the unannounced Basis Ruby (below) appeared online alongside rumours of layoffs in Intel’s New Devices Group this week, it looked like Intel was abandoning wearables.
There was the overheating Basis Peak recall debacle, of course, which resulted in Intel shutting down Basis’ software support and a report in TechCrunch suggesting the whole group might be shut down by the end of 2016.
But Intel has put out a statement clarifying its position on gadgets, if not jobs:
“Intel is in no way stepping back from the wearables business. In fact, we have several products in the works that we are very excited about, as well as prior launches that highlight our wearable technology such as the TAG Heuer Connected watch and recent Oakley Radar Pace smart eyewear.”
As for those new, exciting products, specifically we should have the New Balance Android Wear smartwatch to look forward to at the end of 2016 or in early 2017.
When we spoke to Intel’s VP of Wearables, Sandra Lopez, recently she wouldn’t confirm when the launch would be except to say, “New Balance is still our partner”.
She also highlighted the Paris Fashion Week collaboration with Hussein Chalayan, the Baja East & Fila and Tome smart designer accessories and the Oakley Radar Pace.
It’s no secret that Intel has been casting around for a wearable tech hit, what with its two high profile competitions. It feels like we’ve been saying this for a while now but we just have to wait and see what comes next.