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Intel On the Outside: New Partnerships Could Yield Future in Wearable Tech

指導者 / 總編輯 張蕙娟  分享者 / 吳其錚、董侑霖
圖一_Intel新推出穿戴式裝置
圖一_Intel新推出穿戴式裝置

Intel建立的合夥關係可能創造穿戴式科技新的未來發展

在筆電輝煌的時代漸趨沒落之後,Intel一直從核心品牌「Intel on the Inside」持續往外(Outside)移動。

前幾日,微晶片製造商的標竿Intel宣布與Michael J. Fox和50 Cent共同合作發表健康及生活時尚產品,這無疑是CEOBrian Krzanich想要讓Intel從傳統晶片及電腦產業轉型,並成為物聯網(特別是在穿戴式裝置領域中)領導者最有力的證據。

這兩項措舉都使Intel與其他科技類品牌合作,進入生活及醫療保健產業的激烈戰局之中,尤其是最近收購Beats By Dre的Apple指出:他們對於將健康監測設備搭配在HealthKit系列產品上很有興趣,亦有傳言能夠將其技術應用在iWatch當中。

Intel最新公佈將與饒舌歌手Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson創立的SMS Audio共同打造新的產品分類:「健康穿戴式裝置(fitness wearables)」。這個裝置將主打SMS的耳掛式設計及動感造型,而且是個能夠進行生物性統計測量的耳機,透過智慧型手機的音源輸出插孔,測量使用者的心跳頻率及追蹤其他健康相關數據。

這副耳機是Intel在今年初CES (International Consumer Electronics Show)上展示的原型,「掛耳式」穿戴裝置也增加了產業一個有趣的亮點。

「耳機是捕捉生物性統計測量訊息的完美裝置,因為使用耳機時,事實上裝置已經和你身體連結,而此項產品又將連接至擁有內建電池的裝置,所以並沒有令人討厭的充電及電線纏繞的問題。」Gizmoto(報導消費電子產品相關消息的流行科技網誌)寫道:「但是市面上已有其他智慧型耳機功能早一步在消費者身上測試,例如三星的『Lever Over』耳機可以監測使用者耳朵每天暴露在多少的聲壓之下,並在超標時給予警示。」

Intel上周晚些時候發布:在未來將參與Michael J. Fox基金會的一項專案,此專案將密切追蹤帕金森氏症患者,以了解更多這個疾病的影響。Michael J. Fox是演藝圈中最有名的帕金森氏症患者,而前Intel CEO Andrew Grove也罹患帕金森氏症,因此開啟了Intel與Fox基金會合作的橋梁。而這項專案將會利用類似Fitbit(無線活動紀錄器)型態的感應器和數據分析平台來追蹤患者的活動,更能釐清帕金森氏症患者的症狀。

這些裝置以Intel的專業技術,如電路系統及軟體的設計,大數據資料分析等網路科技,取代過去傳統Intel晶片感應技術,而這些技術也是Krzanich所看見Intel未來的成長趨勢。

Intel New Devices Group的負責人Michael Bell在一份聲明中表示:「Intel身為生活型態與科技融合領域的先驅者,這是在穿戴式裝置產品上創新一個很好的例子。」Bell告訴Wall Street Journal:「很多喜好運動的人都會在運動時佩戴耳機,所以這項裝置是一個很好的測試平台,因為耳朵並不會跑掉。」

與Fox的合作讓Intel更進一步地跨足醫療保健領域,而這也並不會是Intel最後一次的跨界發展。Intel的Data Center Group總經理Diane Bryant告訴USA Today:「對我們來說,這是非常完美的第一步。」

Intel has been moving outside its core brand as the “Intel on the Inside” regime from the glory days of the PC has been dumped like a three-year-old laptop.

In just the last few days, the iconic microchip maker has announced partnerships to launch new health and lifestyle products with Michael J. Fox and 50 Cent. They’re the biggest evidence yet of the strategy of CEO Brian Krzanich to make Intel a leader in the aborning “internet of things,” especially wearables, and to continue to veer away from Intel’s traditional dependence on chips for conventional computers.

Both moves put Intel into the mix with other tech brands that have been invading the lifestyle and health care spaces, especially Apple, which recently acquired the Beats By Dre brand and has indicated a greater interest in health-monitoring devices with its new HealthKit and rumored iWatch.

Intel’s newest announcement has to do with a new category of “fitness wearables” being created by Intel and SMS Audio, in which rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson holds a majority stake. Thedevice, biometric earbuds that can measure a user’s heart rate and track other fitness data via a smartphone audio jack, will feature SMS’s ear-hook design and sporty styling.

The earbuds tee off a prototype that was shown by Intel earlier this year at CES, and hit the exciting wearables industry in a very sweet spot—the ears.
“The earbud is a perfect place to capture biometric information because it’s a product you’ve already got on you, and one that’s wired to a device with a battery. No pesky wristable to strap on or charge,” Gizmodo notes. “But other smart headphone features are already being tested on consumers. For example, Samsung’s Level Over headphones monitor how much sound pressure your ears have been exposed to each day, and warns you when your ears may have had enough.”

That news followed Intel’s announcement late last week that it is joining with the Michael J. Fox Foundation on a project to track Parkinson’s disease patients 24/7 to learn more about how the disease affects sufferers day-in and day-out. The actor is arguably the world’s most famous Parkinson’s patient, but former Intel CEO Andrew Grove has Parkinson’s and kicked off the discussion with Fox’s foundation. The program will use Fitbit-like sensors and a data analytics platform to track movements of patients in order to create a more clear mapping of Parkinson’s symptoms.

Neither of these devices will rely in a classic sense on Intel chips but instead on Intel expertise, such as its networking technology, its design of circuitry and software, and its mastery of big-data analytics—all of which represent the cutting edge of where Krzanich sees future growth for Intel.

“This is a prime example of Intel driving innovation in wearable devices while being a forerunner in merging lifestyle and technology,” Michael Bell, head of Intel’s New Devices Group, said in a statement. For example, he told the Wall Street Journal, “A lot of people who exercise are wearing earbuds anyhow. The ear provides a great platform for doing this kind of measurement. It’s not moving around a lot.”

The collaboration with Fox carries Intel further into health care and it won’t be the last such gambit. Diane Bryant, general manager of Intel’s Data Center Group, told USA Today: “It’s a wonderful first step for us.”

 

摘譯自BrandChannel:
http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2014/08/18/140818-Intel-Wearable-Tech.aspx 
Posted by Dale Buss on August 18, 2014 05:22 PM

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