Wait, that Intel? The chipmaker is involved in a bracelet to retail at Barneys? Yes, because retail ties in with wearables; women in office settings will look for accessories beyond fitness bands and sensor-filled socks; and Intel is casting ropes around new market opportunities beyond chips for PCs. Intel is stepping into the women's fashion marketplace on the high end with MICA, a bracelet with a curved sapphire touchscreen display and semiprecious gems. MICA stands for My Intelligent Communication Accessory. The bracelet was developed from a partnership between Intel, Opening Ceremony and Barneys. The Intel-engineered bracelet will be available by the holidays at Barneys New York and Opening Ceremony stores, reported CNET on Wednesday, and will be priced under $1,000.
The device, with 1.6-inch sapphire touchscreen, can charge wirelessly or by using a USB cable. MICA, said CNET, performs these functions: providing alerts and notifications, including SMS messages; calendar reminders, meeting alerts; and two-way wireless data communication through a 3G cellular radio without the need to pair with a smartphone.
"MICA enables women to stay connected via SMS messages, meeting alerts, and general notifications delivered directly to the wrist, with additional features and functionalities to be revealed at a later date," said Intel. That Intel should be part of a high-end fashion bracelet actually comes with little surprise to technology watchers since Intel announced at CES in January its intentions to get in the frontlines of wearables. .
Back in January, Intel, Opening Ceremony, Barneys New York and the Council of Fashion Designers of America announced collaborations to explore and deliver smart wearable technology. Intel said, "To scale the convergence of the two industries, Intel will work with CFDA to create a community for technology developers and fashion designers to network, match-make, cultivate and exchange ideas on wearable technology. The collaboration will connect more than 400 leading fashion designers who are members of CFDA with a broad ecosystem of hardware and software developers that Intel has been instrumental in building in the last 40 years."
On Wednesday, Intel provided images of MICA. They showed two fashion models wearing the bracelets. At a forthcoming fashion show, said Intel, Opening Ceremony and Intel will introduce the smart bracelet.