Intel has quietly been bolstering the company's New Devices Group with at least two employees who have worked on high-profile wearable computing devices, reports Intel Free Press. Steve Holmes, a former Nike FuelBand design engineer has been hired as the vice president of the New Devices Group, while Hans Moritz who previously led the development of the Oakley Airwave heads-up goggle display has only been hired recently.
The Intel New Devices Group is headed up by Mike Bell, a former Apple and Palm hardware engineer, who was recently tapped to take up the top position. Steve Holmes, his 2IC, was also involved in developing the Palm Pre and Trio. Bell is best known for his work on mobile phones, but his role is to lead the group in the development of new wearable and other devices that will help Intel tap into new markets.
“People will have more wearable devices because their capability is going up, the cost is going down and the things you can do with them will become much more compelling,” Holmes said. “The big change now is the amount of technology that you can pack into some of these small devices is becoming significant enough that it really opens up new possibilities," he added.
Samsung recently unveiled its first serious piece of wearable computing, the Galaxy Gear, although the device is currently only compatible with the newly announced Galaxy Note III and the third-generation Galaxy Note 10.1. Sony first tapped into the segment in 2012 with its first SmartWatch and its sequel, the SmartWatch 2 (which is widely compatible with Android devices) is set to hit store shelves by the end of this month. Apple too, is heavily rumored to be working on an iWatch that is not expected to reach the market until late 2014.
The market for wearable computing devices is expected to hit $1.5 billion in 2014 and continue growing.