Intel is gearing up for high fashion with the release of its latest wearable device, MICA, or My Intelligent Communication Accessory. The device from Intel was developed in partnership with fashion company Opening Ceremony and is the duo’s attempt at bridging the “Internet of Things” with fashion and style.
Aimed at the woman on the go, Intel and Opening Ceremony’s MICA provides its user access to text messages, Gmail and Facebook notifications as well as Google Calendar, which are all displayed on its curved sapphire touch screen display. The technology suite is packaged in a bracelet composed of Ayers snakeskin, gems such as pearls from China and obsidian from Russia, along with an 18-karat gold finish.
“MICA captures Intel’s philosophy that technology should enhance jewelry in order to make wearable technology truly ‘wantable’ in addition to seamless and productive,” Ayse Ildeniz, vice president and general manager for business development and strategy, New Devices Group at Intel, said.
MICA is the result of an 11-month partnership with Opening Ceremony, which was announced at CES 2014 in January. It’s one of many attempts over the past year to take wearable devices beyond enthusiast appeal. A notable example was Apple’s partnership with Parisian fashion boutique Colette in September to showcase its upcoming Apple Watch during Paris Fashion Week.
MICA is a truly independent piece of wearable tech -- it doesn’t need to be tethered to a mobile device to receive data wirelessly. Intel provides users two years of paid wireless data service through AT&T with the purchase of MICA.
While this will enable users to wear MICA without necessarily having their smartphone on them, it may also be problematic as text messages are received through MICA’s mobile number on its AT&T SIM, Ildeniz said during a Q&A session on Monday. It not clear if Intel plans to introduce any mobile phone integration in the future.
Intel claims MICA's battery will last up to 48 hours depending on usage, much longer than the Moto 360, which lasts about a day, and the battery is recharged through a micro USB cable. Intel will also provide software updates to keep MICA running the latest available software.
MICA will be available through Opening Ceremony boutiques in New York and Los Angeles as well as its website. In addition, select Barneys New York locations will carry MICA for $495 starting in December.
“The wearable space is an exciting, rapidly expanding category, and it has been a thrill to be involved in the convergence of fashion and technology through this collaboration with Intel,” Humberto Leon, Opening Ceremony co-founder and director, said.