The wearable fitness tracker company Basis Science may be up for sale and both Apple and Google are said to be in talks to snap it up. Apple is already rounding up fitness and health related specialists to work on secret projects -- presumably wearable tech -- which makes Basis an enticing purchase option for the iPhone and iPad maker.
Apple said to be considering Basis purchase
Sources talking with TechCrunch said both Apple and Google are in talks with Basis and that the buying price would likely come in under US$100 million. They also said that Microsoft and Samsung are showing interest in Basis Science.
Basis is known for the accuracy of its fitness trackers, which would give both Apple and Google a boost in the wearable tech market since they wouldn't have to try to replicate the technology Basis has developed. The company isn't, however, known for sleek and fashionable designs, so Apple would have to put its industrial design wizard Jony Ive on the project.
Google has already made a move into wearable tech with its Google Glass project, although it's still a beta product, expensive, and not easily available to average consumers. Buying Basis would give Google an easy way to expand beyond our faces with its wearable tech efforts, and speed up its own efforts to get into the wrist top market.
Apple has been hiring health and fitness experts over the past two years, hinting that it wants fitness monitoring as a core feature of its wearable tech efforts. The company has hired Jay Blahnik, the fitness expert that helped Nike design the FuelBand; Ben Schaffer, former Nike R&D leader and high tech fabric expert, Dr. Michael O'Reilly who previously worked at Masimo on pulse-enabled oximeters, and several others non-invasive medical technology sensor specialists.
The company also recently hired Marcelo Lamego who had been CTO for the medical device maker Cercacor.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has said Apple has an intense interest in wearable technology, and has suggested the company would be entering into new markets this year. Considering Apple's recent hiring spree and Mr. Cook's statements, it's very likely one of those new markets will be wearable technology focusing on health and fitness tracking.
Basis Science isn't commenting on the possibly buyout rumors, nor are Apple and Google. Assuming Apple does buy Basis, don't expect to see the fitness tech's influence to show up in any products Apple releases this year. It takes time to integrate new technology into the design process, and it isn't likely that even Apple could move that quickly.