The wearable fitness tracker company Basis may be part of Intel now. A report claims Intel snapped up the company in a US$100 million deal as part of its own push into the wearable technology market.
Who owns Basis? Probably Intel.
Sources speaking with TechCrunch said Intel may have paid upwards of $150 million, although so far neither company has confirmed the deal.
Rumors that Basis was a buyout target surfaced in February. At the time, both Google and Apple were said to be in talks with the company, and that Samsung and Microsoft were showing interest, too.
Basis may not have the market share companies like Nike and Fitbit do, but it does have the reputation for highly accurate activity tracking. The company also has plenty of experience in the wearable fitness tech market, which will give whoever owns it a leg up in the race to own our wrists.
Intel is already working on other wearable and personal tech devices such as its Jarvis voice-controlled Bluetooth headset and the Edison smart chip for use in a wide range of products like clothing, appliances, and mugs.
For Intel, this deal won't be about making its own fitness tech products. Instead, it will be about making better platforms for other companies to use for their product designs -- something Intel excels at.
If Intel has bought Basis, other companies hoping to better compete in the wearable tech space may have a better chance at success since they won't have to start from scratch with their own product designs. That's good news for competition considering it's very likely Apple is close to jumping into the wearable tech game.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has said his company is very interested in wearable tech, which is a pretty big hint that products are being developed. So far, consumer-level wearable tech has been mostly limited to our wrists in the form of smart watches and fitness trackers, or our faces with Google Glass.
Considering Apple's penchant for thinking outside the box, there's a good chance whatever the iPhone and iPad maker ships will catch competitors flat-footed. If so, whatever help Intel can give those companies may be the boost they need to stay in the fight, although they shouldn't expect anything from the chip maker this year. It takes time to integrate companies into a new business, and more time to work the technology and engineers they bring into the mix, too.
Intel and Basis haven't commented on the rumored deal yet, but if a buyout has happened we can expect an official announcement soon.