Intel venture capital funds target Chinese startups in wearables, IoT

Intel is investing in companies that develop smartwatches, iris readers and communication equipment

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 $US28 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 Android for Chinese smartphones.

Intel relies on Chinese companies for quick and low-cost device conceptualization and development. The company earlier this year established the $US100 million Intel Capital China Smart Device Innovation Fund for wearables and IoT companies. The five companies are the fund's first recipients.

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 jewellery.

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.

Guangdong Appscomm has developed smartwatches, bracelets and heart rate monitors. One interesting product is a Bluetooth smartwatch that advises Muslim users about prayer times and the direction of Mecca, toward which prayers are usually made.

The other recipients of the Intel funds include Shanghai Ailiao Information Technology, a mobile gaming communication services provider, and Shenzhen Fibocom Industrial Development, a provider of location-based communications services and telematics hardware maker.

Since 1998, Intel Capital, the company's main venture capital fund, has invested more than $US700 million in 120 Chinese companies.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AndroidintelPCconsumer electronicsComponentsApple PayEyeSmartShenzhen Fibocom Industrial DevelopmentGuangdong AppscommBasis smartwatchShanghai Ailiao Information Technology

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Ada Chan

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

I highly recommend the Dynabook Portégé® X30L-G notebook for everyday business use, it is a benchmark setting notebook of its generation in the lightweight category.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?