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January 29, 2015

Look at the current crop of wearable devices - the best ones are tremendously functional, and showcase the best in mobile technology available today. You will also note that the form factor of most wearables has gravitated towards a wristband or a smartwatch.

Anything worn on the wrists is highly visible - making it imperative that it looks good too. To the credit of the designers, most of the smart wristbands and smartwatches are quite good looking. The design spectrum of these wearables is quite broad - from the industrial design of the Microsoft Band to the luxurious imagery of Apple’s iWatch.

It was only a matter of time before a savvy marketer realized that a high-tech wearable can be reimagined as a luxury accessory - by combining the currently available cutting edge mobile tech with haute couture.

MICA Bracelets Demo by Models

Well, MICA (pronounced Meeka) from Intel is that reimagined luxury bracelet!

Intel MICA wristband will appeal to women users that are highly affluent, want to leverage the latest technology, and are highly conscious of style.

Intel created MICA (for “My Intelligent Communication Accessory”) in partnership with fashion house Opening Ceremony - Intel bought engineering expertise to the table, while Opening Ceremony added the fashion and style nous.

What does MICA look like?

MICA is currently available in two different styles - black and white, and both styles feature premium material to create a luxury image.


Intel MICA Bracelets

The ‘black’ style features black water-snake skin, Chinese pearls and lapis lazuli stones from Madagascar; the ‘white’ style features white water-snake skin, tiger’s eye from South Africa, and obsidian from Russia.

Both the bracelet styles are topped with 18K gold plating and sapphire glass touchscreen display.

The fact that design is the USP of the bracelet becomes clear when one reads the product description on the Opening Ceremony website - “it’s a beautiful bracelet first, a brilliant piece of wearable technology second.”

How is MICA different from Other Wearables?

For a luxury bracelet that caters to high end fashionistas, and has a price tag that is significantly higher than equivalent, “tech only” versions, it had to have at least one feature that set it apart - its abundant good looks notwithstanding.

And here it is:

While other bracelets have to connect via WiFi or through a companion app on a mobile, MICA can stay independent. It has an AT&T 3G sim slot built in that can directly connect the bracelet to a network for getting updates and notifications. Yes, the bracelet has indeed its own exclusive phone number!

MICA Notifications

Users can setup VIP lists to prioritize certain people or messages, send pre-generated text messages, get Facebook alerts and notifications, and send email messages. Intel has partnered with Yelp and TomTom to deliver smart alerts on places of interest nearby.

Opening Ceremony has designed a collection of wallpapers that can be used to personalize the device screen.

How is MICA similar to Other Wearables?

In all other aspects, MICA resembles other wearables available in the market - though it is more affiliated to smartwatches than smart wristbands due to the absence of any sort of sensors in it.

MICA is available for sale at Barneys New York and Opening Ceremony websites for $495.

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