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Nike, Oakley hires may mean Intel intends to take on Galaxy Gear, possible iWatch in wearable tech

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Samsung and Sony have already thrown their hats into the wearable tech ring, and Apple is expected to do so in the next year, but now word emerges that silicon giant Intel is also plotting a move into wearable devices and has made a couple of recent hires that indicate it is considering the wrist as prime real estate.


Samsung's Galaxy Gear smart watch is but the latest in an increasingly crowded wearable tech segment.


With little fanfare, Intel has hired on Hans Moritz and Steve Holmes, according to Intel Free Press. Moritz, the more recent hire, previously worked for Oakley on that company's Airwave heads-up goggle, Switchlock series eyewear, and a separate watch program.

Holmes was quietly brought on last year, having been lured away from a top engineering and design job on Nike's Fuelband. Prior to helping design Nike's biometric bracelet, Holmes worked for both Palm and Apple. At Palm, he aided in the development of the Trio and the ill-fated Pre. At Apple, Holmes was lead product designer for the G4 Cube.

Intel named Holmes vice president of Intel's New Devices Group. That group is tasked with developing Intel-branded products to address emerging product trends. It is part of a recent shift in Intel's strategy that has seen the chipmaking giant looking toward making more of its own products, including an Internet television service and an accompanying set-top box.

In a recent interview, Holmes would not elaborate on what Intel might produce with regard to wearable technology. He did, though, express some interest in the way that hardware must integrate with software in order to create a compelling product.

"I come from the hardware side," Holmes said, "but even in the best of scenarios many of these objects are going to end up buried in a desk drawer in five years. It's the software and the data that can live on forever if you make them valuable.

"If this [Fuelband] didn't connect to Nike+ or a smartphone running an application that turns the data into a rich visual display, it would be much less interesting. It provides a lot of value because it's handing off meaningful data that gets processed and shared."

Should Intel enter the wearable technology segment, it would be one among a seemingly ever-growing number of tech giants. A market that was once largely the province of Sony and smaller players like Pebble has seen many more players expressing interest.

Last week, Samsung showed off its Galaxy Gear smart watch accessory, an app-enabled device with sensors and a camera built in. Google bought a smart watch maker last year, though the search giant has not yet shown off any products. Microsoft, LG, and numerous other firms are also thought to be working on similar offerings.

Apple, too, has reportedly been testing the smart watch waters. Earlier this year, news broke that the iPhone maker had assembled a team of 100 personnel to work on an iWatch. The company has since filed for trademark on the term iWatch in multiple countries. Intel was previously rumored to be working with Apple on that device.
post #2 of 31
So far Sony. Samsung and Qualcomm have all announced or actually released so-called smart watches. I don't recall Qualcomm being mentioned here yet, but IMO it looks pretty nice really compared to Samsung's. Now add rumors of Google, Microsoft and Apple with their own upcoming products to this newest one from Intel and the category is beginning to look a bit "filled out".

By the way, here's the Qualcomm entry:
http://toq.qualcomm.com/?gclid=CM2Gp9WlvrkCFUdo7AodjjwAKQ#toq-hello
http://www.informationweek.com/mobility/smart-phones/qualcomm-toq-the-anti-galaxy-gear-smartw/240160910
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post #3 of 31
I dislike the comment "take on", as though Apple hasn't been working on a watch for even longer than these other companies have. It's obvious that Samsung has been stung by the charges of copying Apple. We have seen that after we read that Jobs said that "I cracked it", regarding a Tv, with people thinking that it meant voice control, likely through Siri, Samsung quickly came out with a voice controlled Tv. No matter that it received terrible reviews, they were first, and so could then accuse Apple of copying THEM! It's the same old with the watch. We read rumors, and find that Apple has trademarked the names, so Samsung comes out with a watch. It doesn't do much, and is described as ugly, too big, too thick, and having terrible battery life. But again, it doesn't matter. What matters is that they are FIRST!
post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I dislike the comment "take on", as though Apple hasn't been working on a watch for even longer than these other companies have.

Did Apple ever say they were working on an upcoming smartwatch much less "longer than these others"? Perhaps they have and it went unnoticed.

Of course the rumors could be true about an Apple smartwatch but they're just that. rumors and vaporware at this point as are possible Google and MS versions. The real ones so far include Pebble, Galaxy Gear, and Toq.
Edited by Gatorguy - 9/9/13 at 5:41am
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post #5 of 31
They are first in their category.
Apple will be first with really smart watches and people will see the difference :-)
post #6 of 31

If these many companies are making Watches, at least a little number of their cumulative patents will be violated by Apple. Apple should thing really different. 

 

Really Intel? You are making a watch?  :rolleyes:

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post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

If these many companies are making Watches, at least a little number of their cumulative patents will be violated by Apple. Apple should thing really different. 

Really Intel? You are making a watch?  1rolleyes.gif

... and certainly possible that some of "their" patents will be violated by Apple if they have a real wearable. As vague as some software patents are there's really no way to be sure until someone sues you and gets a judgement.

By the way, for more than you ever wanted to know about smartwatch rumors and actual products take a look here:
http://www.smartwatchnews.org/smartwatch/
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post #8 of 31
God I can't wait until this smartwatch craze phase ends. It seems to me this is a solution in search of a problem. Probably one of the reasons we haven't seen anything from Apple yet.
post #9 of 31

how many phones were out when the iPhone was released?

Microsoft and it's partners had 'tablet PCs' out for years prior to iPad

iPod as originally panned as 'Lame'  compared to what it could have been against the market that was.

 

This is a $149 price point and below market, unless this is a full phone capability.   I can't see Apple rushing into the market.

 

The key is the integration into the iOS 'halo,' whether that be apps,  or a tight integration control point (appleTV, airplay, etc), and most importantly, life hacking.  

 

I think that last point is critical... Heart, BP, blood sugar (http://www.medgadget.com/2013/06/glucotrack-df-f-noninvasive-earlobe-clip-glucose-meter-receives-ce-mark.html) and Pulse Ox, are the big '4' that need if we constantly monitored them, we'd can be advised how  to short and long term manage our health. (not to mention a Blood Alcohol monitor, and if it could... a calorie monitor ("I'd put back that 3rd piece of cheesecake, Dave").  

 

All of those require long battery life.   I personally think the 'breakthrough' will be kinetic/thermal charging, where the watch, while worn, captures energy from the arm attached.   Without that, taking it off every 8 hours to charge (or wearing a charge cord) is a gamestopper.

post #10 of 31

The iWatch rumor has got all the tech giants in a panic.

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post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post
 

The iWatch rumor has got all the tech giants in a panic.

 

 

Indeed!

And i suspect it is just a hoax.

post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

... the category is beginning to look a bit "filled out".

 

Which means the field is wide open for someone to do it right and fly out into the lead.  Apple seems to be good at that i.e. iPod, iPhone, iPad, whatever is next...

post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by icoco3 View Post

Which means the field is wide open for someone to do it right and fly out into the lead.  Apple seems to be good at that i.e. iPod, iPhone, iPad, whatever is next...

It's hardly a product line with the impact of an iPod, iPad , etc. IMO. Seems like it would be more along the lines of another "Apple hobby" like Apple TV at least for the near future.
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post #14 of 31
Holy headline. What a messy jumble of words.
post #15 of 31
iWatch to be bundled with Duke Nukem 4000. HP to leave market in 2015.
post #16 of 31
Aren't people complaining that Apple don't have large screened phones, that 4" is still too small, so wrist watches are supposed to have larger screens ... I don't get it. I do get tiny computers, but dorky useless smart watches, really?
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

God I can't wait until this smartwatch craze phase ends. It seems to me this is a solution in search of a problem. Probably one of the reasons we haven't seen anything from Apple yet.

 

It will - just like the 3D Tv craze has waxed and waned. Right now, one of the better 'solutions' might well be the Pebble. Assuming Apple (or anyone else doesn't soon solve need (that most of us at this stage don't even realize we needed it) it will fade a way soon enough. Even sooner if some other 'next new thing' arrives.

post #18 of 31
Uh oh. Intel, stick to what you know.
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


It's hardly a product line with the impact of an iPod, iPad , etc. IMO. Seems like it would be more along the lines of another "Apple hobby" like Apple TV at least for the near future.

 

"Apple hobby" it could be.  The biometrics are what would make it stand out.  Blood pressure, blood sugar, O2 levels, etc and then there would be a larger market for it.

 

I dropped wearing a watch in 2000 after my company gave me a pager and now with a cell phone, I can get the time when I need it.


Edited by icoco3 - 9/9/13 at 8:02am
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I dislike the comment "take on", as though Apple hasn't been working on a watch for even longer than these other companies have. It's obvious that Samsung has been stung by the charges of copying Apple. We have seen that after we read that Jobs said that "I cracked it", regarding a Tv, with people thinking that it meant voice control, likely through Siri, Samsung quickly came out with a voice controlled Tv. No matter that it received terrible reviews, they were first, and so could then accuse Apple of copying THEM! It's the same old with the watch. We read rumors, and find that Apple has trademarked the names, so Samsung comes out with a watch. It doesn't do much, and is described as ugly, too big, too thick, and having terrible battery life. But again, it doesn't matter. What matters is that they are FIRST!

 

 

You realize Samsung has had some form of smartwatch on the market since 1999?  I'm all for all these companies hopping in the market and competing, and take it as a little humorous that fans think any market Apple enters should have some glowing aura that makes it so only Apple should compete in it.  I think the pre-theoritcal-market is *WAY* bigger than the actual market will be.  These things are just fugly, whether the Samsung watch or the iBracer picture being bandied about.  Most of the 'copying' arguments are stupid because most of the stuff being copied isn't particularly amazing.  Apple copied Android into the mini tablet market!  Apple is going to copy Samsung by building a bigger screen!  Apple copied Samsung with notification center!  Even if the statements are true ones, they are dumb ones because there is nothing hugely amazing about the thing being copied.  I feel the same way about rounded corners and things like 'a method for scrolling on a mobile device'...  like doing things we've been doing for decades, but doing them now 'on a mobile device' makes them amazing.

post #21 of 31

All these watches coming out and Apple hasn't even announced theirs yet. Talk about steering an industry with a rumour only. I'm sure most of the population will just wait for the Apple version because they know it will be the best.

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post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

God I can't wait until this smartwatch craze phase ends. It seems to me this is a solution in search of a problem. Probably one of the reasons we haven't seen anything from Apple yet.

 

Agreed. It reminds me (just a little, not a lot) of those keyboards that are projected onto surfaces. So...be sure to remember to charge your phone and your watch as well...  No thanks. Tim Cook even commented on the fact that kids aren't really wearing watches these days. I'll believe it when I see it, but I just don't see the utility. The problem it "solves" is me glancing over at my phone which is on my desk while at work, or taking about three seconds to pull it from my pocket. At $300 (Samsung, not the hypothetical Apple device) and mental focus to keep it charged...how does this "solve" for a three second problem.

 

I think maybe a bio band of some kind for less than a hundred might serve a niche market...but I can't see anybody but tech geeks who love their gadgets paying over $200 for this kind of thing. I'd love to think the Apple watch is just a big red herring unless Apple can figure out how to get several days battery life.

post #23 of 31
I can recall many product concepts Intel has touted in the past and I presume this will simply be added to their pile of "go nowhere" products.

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post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol77 View Post

I'd love to think the Apple watch is just a big red herring unless Apple can figure out how to get several days battery life.

I don't see kinetic energy as being an unreasonable expectation for helping to keep a smartwatch charged.
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post #25 of 31

The fitness world is where a smartwatch will be most useful.

Today's offerings are clunky and too complicated to operate. Believe me I've had experience with them (Suunto, Timex)

Today's smartwatches on the other hand, are just a smartphone or its projection shrunk down to your wrist.

 

What problem can an iWatch solve?

Answer:The problem of using your iPhone when training. Not the most elegant way to train today.

If an iWatch can tell me the time, maybe have some stopwatch capability (start/stop/lap), maybe GPS for it to record positions when not carrying an iPhone and a sensor to record pulse (equivalent to heartbeat) and if user decides during training, to pair with an iPhone, then it becomes the ultimate training companion. As a standalone device, when arriving at a WiFi area it can automatically upload the results to the appropriate site and the user can review later.

 

Forget about the Red Bull drinking kids. This may be targeted towards aging baby boomers who refuse to age.

post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


I don't see kinetic energy as being an unreasonable expectation for helping to keep a smartwatch charged.

 

Now that would be "woah" inducing.

post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol77 View Post

Now that would be "woah" inducing.

Even if it only augments traditional tethered charging it might extend useful life longer than a day or more. Sammy's watch is what, 10 hours of use IIRC?
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post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDBA View Post
 

The fitness world is where a smartwatch will be most useful.

Today's offerings are clunky and too complicated to operate. Believe me I've had experience with them (Suunto, Timex)

Today's smartwatches on the other hand, are just a smartphone or its projection shrunk down to your wrist.

 

What problem can an iWatch solve?

Answer:The problem of using your iPhone when training. Not the most elegant way to train today.

If an iWatch can tell me the time, maybe have some stopwatch capability (start/stop/lap), maybe GPS for it to record positions when not carrying an iPhone and a sensor to record pulse (equivalent to heartbeat) and if user decides during training, to pair with an iPhone, then it becomes the ultimate training companion. As a standalone device, when arriving at a WiFi area it can automatically upload the results to the appropriate site and the user can review later.

 

Forget about the Red Bull drinking kids. This may be targeted towards aging baby boomers who refuse to age.

 

My issue with the whole sports watch thing is...why the touch screen?

 

Don't get me wrong, I'd love a device that counts my reps, takes my blood pressure, tells me my bmi and my heart rate...but some of that is sci fi for right now. What's more, most people I know who are serious athletes (and would therefore enjoy spending over $200 for equipment/tech) would have no need for these measurements. Progress is usually measured in weight lifted, pounds dropped, bmi, number of reps, none of which can be reliably measured by a watch without direct input from your finger, and the screen would be too small to be compelling to me. I want to think that technology will provide something "cool" down the road, and I don't think I necessarily have thought through this more than a company like Apple, but I've been a serious, competitive athlete for years and I simply don't see the utility.  Really, if it can measure anything useful about me, it hardly needs a touch screen. I have no doubt that smart sports bands could provide useful information and will get better, but my question is...what is the screen for? I'm not inputting information while lifting or running...god no. And when I'm between sets or between intervals...I'm certainly not wanting to spend my time touching a screen because I'm focused on my breathing. If it is to do it's job, it needs to do it without my input. If I'm done with my workout and ready to use "it," then "it" might as well be my smartphone. The only time I'll use a touch screen is before or after my workout. If it's before, I can set up parameters on my phone that has a more useable screen. If it's after...same thing. A band that communicates with the phone would be nice...but the idea that it will have a screen...what on earth for? ( I could be wrong, but I'm just indicating that for the life of me I can't come with any problem having a big screen on my wrist during a work out solves).

post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


Did Apple ever say they were working on an upcoming smartwatch much less "longer than these others"? Perhaps they have and it went unnoticed.

Of course the rumors could be true about an Apple smartwatch but they're just that. rumors and vaporware at this point as are possible Google and MS versions. The real ones so far include Pebble, Galaxy Gear, and Toq.

 

The real info may only come out if there's a lawsuit (which requires development history to be revealed), as with the iPhone.

post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol77 View Post
 

 

My issue with the whole sports watch thing is...why the touch screen?

 

Don't get me wrong, I'd love a device that counts my reps, takes my blood pressure, tells me my bmi and my heart rate...but some of that is sci fi for right now. What's more, most people I know who are serious athletes (and would therefore enjoy spending over $200 for equipment/tech) would have no need for these measurements. Progress is usually measured in weight lifted, pounds dropped, bmi, number of reps, none of which can be reliably measured by a watch without direct input from your finger, and the screen would be too small to be compelling to me. I want to think that technology will provide something "cool" down the road, and I don't think I necessarily have thought through this more than a company like Apple, but I've been a serious, competitive athlete for years and I simply don't see the utility.  Really, if it can measure anything useful about me, it hardly needs a touch screen. I have no doubt that smart sports bands could provide useful information and will get better, but my question is...what is the screen for? I'm not inputting information while lifting or running...god no. And when I'm between sets or between intervals...I'm certainly not wanting to spend my time touching a screen because I'm focused on my breathing. If it is to do it's job, it needs to do it without my input. If I'm done with my workout and ready to use "it," then "it" might as well be my smartphone. The only time I'll use a touch screen is before or after my workout. If it's before, I can set up parameters on my phone that has a more useable screen. If it's after...same thing. A band that communicates with the phone would be nice...but the idea that it will have a screen...what on earth for? ( I could be wrong, but I'm just indicating that for the life of me I can't come with any problem having a big screen on my wrist during a work out solves).

Think Nike fuel band design, paired with Strava or Map My Run. Every km or mi the watch gives you your pace. Instant and important feedback from the app to your watch/band. Now think of that band having a pulse reading sensor. This info is immediately paired with your workout. See all your stats at the end. During a workout you get important feedback on whether your are exerting yourself too much expressed as a percentage of your max heart rate. 

Something along those lines. No bulky screen necessary.

post #31 of 31
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A market that was once largely the province of Sony and smaller players like Pebble has seen many more players expressing interest.

 

Sony: bloated, old-fashioned, and losing mindshare ever since iPod killed off Walkman.

 

Pebble: tiny, under-funded, the VisiCalc of smart watches (first on the market, first to get crushed.)

 

Intel: desperately seeking any kind of success in the mobile, post-PC era, and falling years behind.

 

Apple: in no hurry at all to release iWatch, waiting for would-be competitors to make their glaring mistakes.

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