Intel venture capital funds target Chinese startups in wearables, IoT

21. Oktober 2014
Long dominant in PCs, Intel is using its vast cash resources to chase hot new product categories, investing in up-and-coming Chinese companies that could help expand its presence in the mobile, wearable and Internet of Things markets.

The chip maker is dishing out US$28 million to five small companies including EyeSmart, which develops iris-recognition hardware for wearables and mobile devices, Guangdong Appscom, which makes wearables, and LeWa Technology Shanghai, which makes a version of AndroidAndroid for Chinese smartphones. Alles zu Android auf CIO.de

Intel relies on Chinese companies for quick and low-cost device conceptualization and development. The company earlier this year established the $100 million Intel Capital China Smart Device InnovationInnovation Fund for wearables and IoT companies. The five companies are the fund's first recipients. Alles zu Innovation auf CIO.de

Intel wants to make headway in new, growing markets such as wearables. It sells the Basis smartwatch, for example, and its technology is being used in a biometric headset and smart jewelry.

With the emergence of Apple Pay, which uses fingerprints to authorize credit card payments, biometric user authentication is drawing interest. EyeSmart's iris-recognition technology, meanwhile, essentially allows eyes to function as passwords. The authentication technology could be used on mobile devices, payment terminals, smart homes and wearables.

LeWa said its version of Android has been preloaded in products from small device makers and is compliant with Chinese government standards.