Chipmaker Intel to develop wearable computing devices with Fossil Group

Chipmaker Intel Corp yesterday said it would work with watches and fashion accessory retailer Fossil Group to develop wearable computing devices.

The collaboration comes with the company looking to expand beyond the personal computer industry into new markets, including tablets and a raft of wearable devices, including "smart" watches and other internet-connected garments, Reuters reported.

In addition to cooperating on technology-oriented fashion products, Fossil would help Intel's venture capital arm look for investments to accelerate innovation in wearable computing, the company said in a statement.

The company had also been working with design company Opening Ceremony to launch a fashion bracelet with semi-precious gems, communications features and wireless charging.

The devices the company would be rolling out include a wearable baby monitor, some smart ear buds and an always-on headset.

The chipmaker also announced the "Make it Wearable" Challenge, a competition that offered $1.3 million in awards to participants who had ideas around wearable technology with the potential to shift universal perspective and improve the world in a meaningful way, or concepts that pushed the limits of what was possible, reported.

Make it Wearable was aimed at encouraging innovation with Intel technology and the company's release of a new ultra-small programmable computer aimed at hackers and developers was another means with which this could be achieved, as also providing a platform that participants could build upon for challenge entries.

Edison, a SD-card sized Pentium-class PC, is powered by dual-core 22 nm Intel Quark technology. It has Linux operating system, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The device would also have its own app store.

Intel demonstrated the use of Edison and sensors built into a baby's onesie, to relay information about movement, temperature and breathing to a smart phone app for parental peace of mind.

Intel unveiled another monitoring device, its new smart ear buds, aimed at fitness enthusiasts that provide a way to listen to music while exercising. The device also monitors heart rate and pulse. With the help of an accompanying app, users can track running distance and monitor calories burned. It also provides tailored fitness coaching.

Another piece of headgear showcased was Jarvis, an always-on headset that would integrate with existing devices such as phones and laptops. Jarvis, which is only a prototype at present, but once launched would offer similar functionality to tools like Siri. Pairing it with a smart phone app, for example, would allow users to interact verbally with their phones.