Intel’s upcoming smart bracelet is called MICA or “My Intelligent Communication Accessory”. The device is designed by the fashion brand Opening Ceremony. It is a smart wearable that has a curved sapphire touchscreen display.
The new bracelets are aimed at fashion-conscious women and is an attempt by the company to obtain a high spot in the smartwatch market.
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“We really approached this first and foremost about why would a woman want to wear this every day, and how can it be incorporated into her wardrobe,” Humberto Leon, creative director at Opening Ceremony.
It is a smart bracelet designed for women that can send Google, Facebook, Yelp and text notifications. Users can control the notifications from the touchscreen located on the wrist-facing side of the bangle.
The device displays text messages, calendar items and events from Google and Facebook, and recommendations of nearby restaurants and stores from Yelp.
MICA only sends notifications as vibrations, not sound, to stay more discreet. But the device has limited features such as, the user can search for Yelp businesses, but cannot actually request directions on a map application.
The smart bracelet features remote-locking and location tracking in case the device is misplaced.
Also, two-way wireless data communication through a 3G cellular radio will be available without the need to pair with a smartphone.
The battery life of the device is decent and can last for two days. It can be charged wirelessly with the Intel Charging Bowl which was announced earlier in 2014.
The MICA smart bracelet is priced at $495 includes a two-year data plan with AT&T, which means it does not rely on a smartphone for connectivity, like most of the smartwatches.
Intel has also bought fitness bracelet maker Basis Science and has partnered with watch retailer Fossil Group to develop other wearable computing devices.
The MICA will come in two styles, one will have black water-snake skin, pearls from China, and lapis stones from Madagascar, while the other style will include white water-snake skin, tiger’s eye from South Africa, and obsidian from Russia.
The MICA smart wearable will be sold starting by early December through Opening Ceremony and Barney’s upscale department stores.
According to Grand View Research, global smartwatches market is expected to reach USD 19.62 billion by 2020. The key findings from the study are:
- Global smartwatch shipments were close to 2 million units in 2013, and are expected to reach 135.3 million units by 2020, at a CAGR of 53.5% from 2014 to 2020.
- High-end smartwatches accounted for approximately 90% of the global market in 2013. This segment is expected to lose market share to the mid-end and low-end segments over the forecast period.
- North America accounted for the highest market share of 35% in 2013; this is mainly due to higher purchasing power as well as increasing demand for fitness tracking equipment.
- Industry participants include Samsung Electronics (Galaxy Gear), Pebble, Sony Corporation, Google Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. among others.