I think we can all agree that outside the upcoming Apple Watch, most wearables have focused on technology instead of fashion. Big and clunky is the order of the day to shoehorn as many features into a device. With the devices approaching the luxury-level price points, the issue quickly becomes – is a smart watch a statement piece?
MICA (My Intelligent Communications Accessory) is looking to change the perception. Designed as a fashion piece first and wearable tech second, Intel is looking to shoulder in on the fashion vertical.
Intel did all the computing, while Opening Ceremony handled the fashion side of the device. The thick band is covered in snake skin and comes with a variety of stud options – either pearls and lapis stones, or tiger’s eye and obsidian. MICA’s display is sapphire glass that stays on the inside of the wrist. The display is wrapped in 18-karat gold plating.
If you are looking for a laundry list of features, MICA isn’t for you. It handles the basics of wearables. It will show phone calls, text messages and email from starred gmail contacts. There’s no voice dictation, so responses to texts are only through customizable canned responses.
You can set the device to vibrate from a list of VIP contacts, known as ‘Priority Notifications.’ MICA syncs with your calendar, TomTom and Facebook for event reminders. It also helps a user find nearby restaurants via a Yelp service.
And that’s it. No fitness tracking, navigation, web search or tapping out morse code to other users. This device is stripped down on the technology side and reaches for high fashion.
It is undoubtedly a departure for wearables. MICA doesn’t cast a wide net in search of people looking for the latest in fitness tracking or features crammed into a watch. Instead, it seems like a grand experiment to see what the market will sustain.
MICA is set to go on sale just in time for Christmas. Barney’s New York and Opening Ceremony will carry the device at retail locations, and through their respective online stores. The price is $495, and will feature two-years of AT&T service.