In yet another effort to expand beyond the PC industry, Intel is teaming up with fashion retailer Fossil to jointly develop wearable computing devices.
The idea behind the partnership is to combine Intel's technological knowledge with Fossil's design expertise, established brand presence, retail channels, and distribution networks, allowing the chipmaker to solely focus on the technology aspect of the device.
In addition to the cooperation on technology-oriented fashion products, the partnership will also see Fossil, known for its watches, bags, belts, and other accessories, working with Intel's investment unit, Intel Capital, to identify profitable co-investments in emerging technologies.
"We are focused on identifying trends and emerging uses of technology and accelerating wearable technology innovation worldwide", said Mike Bell, Intel's vice president and GM of the New Devices Group.
Intel Capital has already invested in many wearable technology startups including Thalmic Labs, a Canada-based company that makes a wearable armband that translates gestures into action on computers, Basis Science, a company that specializes in wearable-device technologies for health and wellness applications, and more.
The announcement comes just a few days after Intel revealed My Intelligent Communication Accessory (MICA), a luxury smart bracelet aimed at women. The wearable, which is designed by fashion retailer Opening Ceremony, will hit the market later this year.
It is expected that the wearable technology market will see a rapid growth in the coming years. According to the research firm MarketsandMarkets, the global wearable electronics market revenue is expected to cross $8 billion by 2018, compared to $2.5 billion in 2012.