Intel pushing Make it Wearable challenge

May 20, 2014 // 7:12 a.m.

Tags: #competition #contest #galileo #hacker #intel #make-it-wearable #maker #quark #wearable #wearable-computing #wearables

Intel is looking for help in its assault on the wearable computing market, accepting submissions for the Development Track of its Make It Wearable challenge with the promise of a $50,000 prize each for ten finalists and a further $800,000 for the top three winners.

That Intel is looking to the embedded and wearables market for future growth is no secret: the launch of its Quark embedded processor and maker-oriented Galileo Arduino board revealed the company's intentions to take the fight to industry giant ARM. It's doing so from a weak position, however: while it dominates in desktop and server spaces, x86 has never been a popular choice for low-power embedded markets. The solution is, of course, marketing: Intel has a far higher budget for getting its products into the public gaze than ARM or its licensees, and has put a chunk of change aside to do exactly that with a $1.3 million prize fund for a competition dubbed Make It Wearable.

The competition, the Development Track of which is now open, looks for product ideas in the wearable market from anyone - students, schoolkids, makers, hackers and modders. Intel's only restriction is that entrants must be over 13 and that any previous funding received for their project must total less than $5 million. The top ten entrants will receive $50,000 in funding and what Intel describes as 'intensive mentoring to help get their ideas off the ground,' while the top three entrants will win $500,000, $200,000 and $100,000 respectively in addition to their already-received $50,000.

Even at this early stage, however, competition is tough: the Visionary Track, which opened previously and closes in June, has entrants including a social environmental monitoring system, photosynthesising clothes, and a jacket that draws power from the human body. The Development Track, unlike the pie-in-the-sky Visionary Track, is more discerning in its requirements: entrants must submit proposals with business case details, including target users, value proposition, market differentiators and anticipated business hurdles, and must create a product pitch video.

If you think you can handle that, the contest is open to world-wide entry at the official site.

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