Intel has reportedly acquired smartwatch maker Basis Science for between $100 and $150 million, adding to Intel's portfolio of wearable devices and sensors.
According to TechCrunch sources, while the exact amount Intel paid is not known, it is believed to be around the $100 million - $150 million ballpark. Basis has secured roughly 7 percent of the wearable fitness tracker market and over $30 million has been invested in to the company by Norwest Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund and Intel Capital.
Basis has one lone product on the consumer market: the Basis Health Tracker Watch. The wrist-based tech includes a health tracker and connection to an online personal dashboard in order to encourage users to incorporate healthier choices within their lifestyles. The watch measures steps taken during the day, calories burned, sleep quality, and physiological metrics like heart rate. New health goals are automatically set and adjusted based on the data.
Intel has made traction within the emerging wearable technology market, showcasing a number of product this year at trade conventions including smart, wearable baby monitors, the Jarvis headset and the Edison smart chip. If the reported acquisition of Basis is confirmed, then this could pave the way for Intel to tap in to smartwatches by using an already-established company with a fair market share and technology already available.
In addition, the smartwatch and its design team could be a platform for Intel to set its own designs and features.
In a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session last month, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said that he uses two wearable devices, one which is an "internally developed" product -- revealing that the wearables industry, beyond supplying chipsets, is likely to be of interest to Intel.
Intel has a way to catch up to compete with rivals that have already entered the wearables market with sensors and devices. Qualcomm and STMicroelectronics currently supply a large swathe of the market with sensors, and major firms including Samsung and LG already have wearable devices available. Google is rumored to be considering a smartwatch as part of the next-generation Nexus release.