Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) was late to the mobile revolution, but it won't miss out on the next wave of high-tech innovation. From its "Make It Wearable Challenge" to its fashionable tech collaboration with Barney's New York, Intel has set its sights on the burgeoning wearable technology market. This could prove a prescient move for the chipmaker considering the global wearables market is on track to generate $10 billion by 2016, according to research from Gartner.
It now appears Intel will stop at nothing to dominate this emerging industry.
The tech giant is attacking the nascent wearables market from all angles these days. Last week, Intel announced a partnership with Fossil (NASDAQ:FOSL), a watch and accessories maker, to bring emerging trends in the wearable technology space to market. It makes sense that Intel would partner with Fossil on this front. The fashion brand's products are sold in department stores and specialty retail stores in the U.S. and roughly 150 countries worldwide today. This type of distribution network will allow Intel to get its technology into hundreds of stores in one fell swoop.
However, an even more impressive way to corner the wearables market is to make sure you've got the most innovative ideas on the planet. That's where Intel's global wearables contest comes into play.
Meet Intel's Make It Wearable Challenge
What better way to beat competitors to the punch than by crowdsourcing ideas on a global scale? That's essentially what Intel is doing with its "Make It Wearable" challenge. Here's how it works: Intel will award a whopping $1.3 million in cash grants to winners of its wearable tech contest. The chipmaker kicked off the competition at the consumer electronics show in January. A handful of cutting-edge finalists have been chosen since then.
The contest was broken into two segments, a "Visionary Track" for forward-thinking ideas and a "Development Track," which rewarded concepts centered on feasible technology that could be build immediately. Finalists have been chosen for both segments of the contest and the final development track winner will be announced on November 11, 2014.
Here are some of the coolest gadgets from Intel's pool of finalists.
One of the standout wearable devices from the visionary track is "Lovey: A Social Monitor" for kids. This product is easily attached to a child's clothing where it then monitors everything from the child's location to voice recognition software that can help parents better understand their kid's needs. The most impressive feature of Lovey is that it learns familiar locations that your child visits, such as school, and can send a notification to your smartphone if the child leaves a familiar zone with an unidentified person.
Nixie is another exciting device from Intel's Make It Wearable Challenge. Nixie is a wearable camera that promises to make it much easier to take selfies while on the go. On the wearer's cue Nixie unfolds and takes flight -- making it the first wearable camera that can fly, according to Intel.
Next up, Wristify. This is a wearable cuff that warms or cools the wearer's body using Intel's System On Chip or SOC technology. According to Intel, "the band creates an immersive experience that responds to, adapts to, and communicates with the wearer." Other notable tech gadgets from the challenge include: Vumble, a sports necklace that monitors your body's activity through vibrations, a bionic mattress called BabyBe that connects mothers with their babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, and First V1sion, a wearable camera and broadcast system that captures a players point-of-view in sports like basketball and football.
Inventing the future
For Intel, coughing up thousands of dollars in cash prizes is a small price to pay for gaining first eyes on potentially game-changing ideas within the emerging wearables space. Ultimately, Intel is proving it has what it takes to be a leader in the wearables market.
Tamara Rutter has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Fossil and Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.