After recalling the Basis Peak and Basis B1 wearables and offering full refunds to their owners, Intel is reportedly taking a step back in its wearables development. The company vehemently denies, though, that it is stepping away from the arena.
TechCrunch is reporting from its sources that Intel has informed employees in its New Devices Group of major changes to the unit’s mission that could result in massive layoffs. It was not clear at the time if the scaling down would lead to an ultimate end of Intel’s pursuit of powering wearables, something it wanted to do with its initial acquisition of Basis and another startup called Recon. One project that “will never [likely] see the light of day” is the Basis Ruby fitness wearable, a pictured of which leaked with this news.
Intel issued a statement over the weekend to deny its withdrawal from the wearables market.
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.
Indeed, it may provide and tune processors for those purposes to other manufacturers, but the statement does not clear up whether it will ever catch back up with its consumer efforts of the past.