Intel has announced the end product of an interest collaboration with Open Ceremony, to create a wearable communication device that doubles as a fashion accessory. It is MICA, and it is debuting this week.
If Apple was aimed at people wanting an all-inclusive smartwatch, and FitBit is aimed at people who are obsessed with fitness, MICA is for people obsessed with fashion.
While you would think the technical aspects were the big story here, it actually takes a backseat in their marketing to the actual look of the bracelet. It is an 18k gold piece, set with sapphire glass, obsidian, snakeskin, and pearls. It is actually quite beautiful, and you wouldn’t think at first glance that it was anything more than a piece of jewelry.
On the technical side, you can check messages, get calendar alerts, and set notifications. These will be shown discreetly on your screen, while vibrating to alert you of incoming communications. While you can’t use it to communicate in a complete way, you can customize quick messages that can be sent directly from your bracelet, until you can get to some other device, or speak to the person face to face.
What makes this such a unique device is not just the look (which is a substantial part of it), but that it is an independent product. It doesn’t have any ties to smartphones, like other smartwatches. It is more like the fitness devices, where it can be used on its own. It is powered by AT&T, but buying the device gives you two years of service to power it.
That might sound like a good deal, but you have to keep in mind that the MICA costs $500 big ones. It is pretty steep for what is essentially just another wearable answering machine, albeit a very attractive one.
In any case, it shows that the industry is changing to become more all inclusive for wearable tech. This is solidly in the realm of fashion, and it doesn’t pretend to be made for anyone else. Everything from the price, to the look, to the functions just connect women who are already within certain fields to communication, while looking good. Think models and celebs, here.
Pointless vanity tech? Maybe. But man, it looks really good.