Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) awarded $500,000 to the winners of the “Make it Wearable” contest. The winning team developed a wristband that can be transformed into camera-equipped drone. The chipmaker believes that these innovations will help the company to gain a leading position in the fast-growing wearables market.
Event to help Intel explore options
Nixie quadcopters can be wrapped around the wrist, and when activated, spring into the air to click pictures from places. After taking a picture, it comes back to its owners like a boomerang, and then integrates with the smartphone.
Brian Kranich, CEO of the company started “Make it Wearable” contest in January to encourage the entrepreneurs and hobbyists to sync Intel chips with innovative wearable technology. The prize money will help the winners to launch their prototypes into the market.
Innovations in the finals included a pad that enables premature babies in incubators to feel the heartbeat of their mothers and a necklace that use pulses to give cyclists turn-by-turn directions.
“This was an experiment to see what we could do in this space and see what kind of creativity we could spawn,” Krzanich said at an award event on Monday. He added that the real value added was the diversity of the teams and ideas.
Intel has lagged Qualcomm in mobile in the recent years, and has been late to enter the smartphones and tablet market. Therefore, the company wants to do every bit to ensure that their processors are used in the latest applications.
Wearable next target for Intel
Some of the biggest names in tech such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung and Motorola are coming up with smart watches and fitness bands, but the wearable category still has a long way to go. Apple is planning to launch a smartwatch in 2015.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) clearly dominates the PC chip arena, and recently the company has bought a health tracker start-up (Basis) and entered into a deal for another wrist worn gadget with Fossil and Opening Ceremony. Krzanich thinks that other hobbyists also have a good chance to come up with some compelling gadgets similar to what large tech companies are eying.
Separately, Intel also launched Edison, a computer as small as an SD card that is designed to enable clothing and gadget makers to use the firm’s platform in wearable products.