Thu, Mar 27, 2014 - Page 15 News List

Intel buys fitness tracker company Basis Science

GOOD FIT?An Intel vice president says that the acquisition provides the chipmaker with ‘immediate entry’ into the growing wearable devices market

AP, NEW YORK

Chipmaker Intel Corp has bought Basis Science Inc, the startup behind the popular fitness tracker by the same name, for an undisclosed sum.

The deal — announced on Tuesday by Santa Clara, California-based Intel — comes as the still-nascent market for wearable gadgets is heating up. So far, a lot of these gadgets are fitness and wellness trackers. This includes the Basis band, which tracks users’ activity level, heart rate, sleep patterns and other data.

Just last week, Google Inc released a version of its Android software tailored for high-tech watches and other wearable devices. On Monday, the California-based technology titan said it is joining forces with the frame giant behind Ray-Ban, Oakley and other high-end brands to create and sell Glass Internet-linked eyewear in the US.

Basis Science CEO Jef Holove will now be general manager at Intel’s new devices group.

The Basis band will continue to be sold and the company’s 60 employees will work on “future wearable initiatives,” Intel said.

Intel vice president Mike Bell said the acquisition provides Intel with an “immediate entry into the market” of wearable devices and he praised the “deep expertise” that Basis has in the area. The Basis band tracks more data than many of the competing fitness bands out there.

“Simple pedometers with lights on them aren’t that interesting,” Bell said.

Holove, meanwhile, said the move gives Basis access to Intel’s resources at a time when there’s “a lot happening” in the wearable technology market.

Intel’s stock rose US$0.02 to US$25.48 in extended trading after closing up US$0.34 at US$25.46.

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