Brian Krzanich, Intel Corporation, Code Conference

Asa Mathat


While Intel is still planning to release a second-generation Basis watch this year, CEO Brian Krzanich says his broader future in wearables is in working with partners.

“I still don’t want to be in devices,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. “We always do best when we partner.”

Intel has already worked with 50 Cent on the company’s heart-rate sensing earbuds. Expect some new devices to show up at Fashion Week, Krzanich said at a dinner with a handful of reporters on Thursday.

“You’ll see some stuff from us,” he said, without offering many details. “It will look like a fashion product, not a wearable, but it will be a wearable.”

Intel bought Basis earlier this year and Krzanich said its technology is proving useful for a variety of efforts.

For Intel, wearables and other emerging computing devices represent a key opportunity after the company largely missed out on the smartphone and early days of the tablet market.

Of course, Qualcomm and other winners from the mobile market are also expanding quickly into these same areas.

Krzanich, an avid runner, has a personal stake in seeing wearables become more capable.

“I want to be able to leave my phone at home,” he said. “We will get there.”

Some of Intel’s biggest initial success in the Internet of Things has come in the less sexy but lucrative industrial markets, doing things like monitoring energy.

In one of the company’s own plants, Intel is using technology to notice any abnormalities in pumps long before they actually fail and impact production.

Intel’s role in the home market, Krzanich said, is less clearly defined.

“We’re still trying to figure out where we play,” he said.

Lee C.
Lee C.

The foundation of wearables and IoT  are low-cost and ultra low-power silicon, coupled with innovative lean software in an agile ecosystem. Meaning runs fast, runs a long time w/o charging and your organization has to be fleet of foot. Despite BK's efforts, Intel continues to struggle in these areas, and in some cases even comprehending the needs of these new non-x86/PC markets.


Most silicon in wearables will be relatively (as compared with x86 CPUs) inexpensive.  Intel does not like making inexpensive chips.  Intel will not be a player in wearables (assuming it takes off any time soon) unless they get a new board of directors and new philosophy.  They have abandoned just about every non-CPU market they have been in (including ones they pioneered) because they don't like or know how to compete in low cost markets.


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