If last year was the year when smartphones have truly matured, this is the year of the smartwatches. If we look at just two of the smartphones launched on Wednesday, Sony Xperia Z3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4, what we see is maturity, not innovation. Smartphones are not surprising anymore. Instead, what counts as a challenge for the high-tech industry is the smartwatch / wristband.
Smartwatches are not exactly a novelty, as companies such as Samsung and Sony already launched some versions last year. However, in 2014 it seems that most of the largest companies are joining the trend. Talking about trend, this is a major appeal posed by the smartwatch. As it does have the classical watch format, it counts both as extension of your smartphone, as well as a fashion accessory in itself. While smartphones have become extremely common, smartwatches will be the newest form of distinction among consumers and some of them are craving for that.
Intel decided to join the movement and introduce its very own wearable. The company bets on a future of extreme mobility with “My Intelligent Communication Accessory” (MICA). The wearable more than a simple smartwatch. Intel calls it a smart bracelet, to emphasize the fashion character. MICA is designed by Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of fashion house Opening Ceremony. At $1.000, we can comfortably called it a luxury accessory. The Intel luxury bracelet comes in two styles, in white or black snakeskin, each version featuring decorative stones such as obsidian and lapis.
So what does the bracelet do from a technological point of view? MICA is not just a fashionable accessory, as it is surprisingly well equipped. The bracelet has 3G cellular technology, a characteristic hardly encountered on today’s smartwatches. So MICA can be used to make phone calls without the need to be tethered to a smartphone, freeing the wearer from the extra weight in certain situations.
Users can check their SMSs or calendar alerts on the bracelet’s 1.6 inches display. A welcomed feature is the sapphire screen, which will add the highest level of protection possible against scratches and other damages to the Intel luxury smart bracelet.
“This bracelet is a fruition of our efforts and we’ve been making progress in wearables for about a year now,” Intel spokeswoman Ellen Healy said. “We aren’t limiting ourselves to fitness or health or fashion—there’s going to be more to come from us in the coming months,” she added.