Report: Intel’s wearable push may go upmarket with TAG luxury watches


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After tackling earbuds, eyeing smart glasses and dabbling in fashion, Intel will reportedly try a TAG smartwatch on for size.

An unnamed source told Business Insider that Intel and TAG Heuer may announce their collaboration at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, or they could wait for a separate reveal later in the quarter.

But don’t expect a smartwatch with a full-blown display. Instead, the device will likely be an analog timepiece with built-in sensors for measuring activity and sleep. Much like the Withings Activité, the watch from Intel and TAG will reportedly focus on style instead of packing in the features.

Jean-Claude Biver, head of watchmaking for TAG’s parent company LVMH, said in September that the company plans to make a smartwatch, but he has also expressed concern about selling a luxury timepiece whose technology will quickly become obsolete. Keeping the fitness-tracking features simple might be one way to do that, as a basic step and sleep counter can remain useful for years even after mobile processors become more sophisticated.

However, it’s unclear how much Intel and TAG might charge for the device. TAG watches can cost thousands of dollars, and buyers may be skittish about spending that kind of money—especially if there are any compromises in battery life or style. At the same time, selling low-priced wearable risks cheapening TAG’s brand name, so it’ll be interesting to see where on the price spectrum this supposed device lands.

Why this matters: Intel’s name has started popping up in lots of wearable experiments, including the MICA cuff for women, SMS Audio’s heart rate-monitoring earbuds, a partnership with luxury eyewear brand Luxottica and a possible appearance in Google Glass. But a collaboration with TAG could be the chipmaker’s most visible product yet, and a sign that Intel is starting its long-promised wearable push in earnest.

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