Intel showed off two amazing new projects this past month at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California to show the world that it has no intention falling behind the latest technological trends. CEO Brian Krzanich wore a “smart” shirt on stage while accompanying Jimmy, a two-foot tall robot.
The smart shirt is designed for athletes and features sensors that can measure the wearer’s vital signs and then send them to his or her smartphone. Intel is developing the batter-powered smart shirt with AiQ, a Taiwan based company that specializes in combining electronics and textiles to create functional, fashionable, wearable, tech. Intel plans to have them available this summer.
Jimmy the robot is an example of the customizable, 3-D printable robot kits that Intel hopes to start selling by the end of 2014. So far, it can walk, talk, dance, and even tweet. The consumer version’s price will start around $1,600.
Intel showcased these two exciting projects to prove to nonbelievers that they won’t fall behind on the most current, innovative technological trends like they have in the past. At the Code Conference, Krzanich admitted that his company missed out on the mobile wave.
Though the majority of mainstream, technology audiences likely haven’t heard about any other kind of smart shirts hitting the market, there are a few in development right now. OMsignal has already created a product similar to what Intel hopes to design. This competing smart shirt can track its wearer’s exercise, advise the individual to catch his or her breath or relax if stressed out.
Co-founder of OMsignal Stéphane Marceau shares the same idea as Intel, adamantly believes that the future of wearable tech doesn’t lie in advanced pedometers or in the smartwatches that some techies are already sporting, but in the kind of clothes people wear every day. Marceau told the New York Times that, “Smart clothing is easy because it’s the only wearable medium you’ve already been wearing your whole life.”
“The wearable technology that I’ve seen thus far is only QR Codes. The code is printed directly on the shirt and/or insert card, it’s a strong way for the people on the floor to draw attention and create a conversation,” says Elise Harding of Tee Compressed. “If these shirts are also branded with company logos etc, the shirt could useful for everyday marketing.”
Whether wearable technology and 3D-printed robots ever become solid trends in the U.S. marketplace is yet to be seen, but Intel’s predictions come to fruition, the company stands on better ground than it did when the mobile wave hit.