Only a year after the acquisition of Basis Science, a wearables company, Intel already has us on the hook for their fashionable new product called, Mica (My Intelligent Communication Accessory). In collaboration with the ultra-chic fashion brand, Opening Ceremony, Intel has effectively created a product that will be purchased and used by a very important demographic: successful and hardworking women. Mica not only solves the problem of looking dorky while enjoying wearable tech, it makes you look good. Understated, but undoubtedly elegant, Mica comes with options: black water snake skin with pearls from China and lapis stones from Madagascar or white water snake skin with tiger's eye from South Africa and obsidian from Russia; both accented in 18-karat gold. The $495 price tag covers the device itself along with a two-year service contract, exclusively from AT&T.
Personally speaking, I was really intrigued when I first heard the story of its design and I found it cool how the design methodology around these devices is evolving to fit different styles rather than positioning everything as do-it-all devices. Look out for more in coming years in this area, as the whole space is just getting started. Intel has already announced partnerships with the Fossil Group, Luxottica, Oakley, (more to be anounced soon) so more coming, and all of the products are to be designed and engineered in collaboration with partners' designers.
Scott Lopker Intel
Mica isn't just a prettier version of wearable tech, though; it's quantifiably better. Aimed at the fashionable woman who wants it all, this product is a tasteful, convenient asset for organization and communication. One of the most surprising features is Mica's stand-alone functionality. It doesn't need to be paired with any other tech. Take it off at the end of the day and put it back on when you're ready to get back to work. Customize Mica for work with Google calendars, Facebook Events and a Tom Tom powered GPS that gives you notifications and suggestions from Yelp! based on your location. Save your phone battery by using Mica, which has a battery life of about two days.
We're not even done gushing yet. Marketing a gender-specific item can be tricky. Intel has breezed through this challenge gracefully. Their marketing strategy differs from that of other tech companies by clearly speaking to their target demographic. The Apple Watch, for example, comes across as a cool piece of tech that anyone and everyone can have and customize. Mica is unabashedly and unapologetically made only for the modern woman. It's functionality was selected and designed by the Opening Ceremony team based on their wish list, and Intel's role was to enable and engineer their vision. OC specifically wanted to tone down the functionality to a smaller set of choices to result in what they considered most important for their audience, without creating more tech distractions. Future enhancements can be pushed to the device through updates if they choose, but for now it's a sleek set of options. If interested, you can find more info on functionality at openingceremony.com/mica. Cosmopolitan magazine featured an article on its development in the March issue and they highlighted it as part of their tech showcase in the Cosmo Style Lab at SXSW. Watch this promo piece directed by Jenna Elizabeth and featuring Rashida Jones.
Ever wonder how the talented Rashida Jones finds the time to speerhead the new NBC comedy A to Z, co-write Toy Story 4, and cameo NYFW side projects like 100% Lost Cotton? The answer could fall on the wrist of Opening Ceremony's MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory), a smart accessory that doubles as a high-fashion bracelet—and a PA.