Intel tried its best but could not keep on with its connected objects’ division and had to close its dedicated branch.
The connected objects’ market (glasses, watches, bracelets…) has been slowing down for the past few years. Perceived as the next technological breakthrough for a while, this sector has been struggling, mostly because of the public’s disinterest, but also because of Apple Watch’s monopole.
Fitbit, a pioneer company in this field, announces worsening results every year and even canceled new products’ releases. TomTom, famous for its GPS systems, closed its entire wearables branch. Nokia recently announced selling Withings, a French startup it bought a few years back to develop connected products.
Seing Intel close its wearables branch, named “New Devices Group” is therefore hardly surprising. Funded in 2013, not long after Brian Krzanich’s new position as CEO, the division still counted more than 200 employees, including some of Basis and Recon’s teams (both startups were bought by Intel in 2014 and 2016). The first one was specialized in smart watches while the other in connected glasses.
Last February, Intel had revealed a new low-tech connected glasses prototype named Vaut. The company looked for new strategic partners but had to stop its development as not able to find any. It then decided to close the division for good.
In a press release, the company’s teams explained that “innovation and exploring new technologies sometimes require tough choices when market dynamics don’t support further investment.”