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Intel unveils MICA: stylish smartband for $495

One of the key problems of today’s wearable electronics devices is that they are not stylish and are designed for both men and women. This greatly limits popularity of smartbands among people who prefer to wear stylish things. Fortunately, the industry seems to finally understand that wearable electronics has to be elegant and classy, not geeky. On Monday Intel Corp. unveiled the world’s first intelligent bracelet designed specifically for women.

My Intelligent Communication Accessory (MICA), designed by Opening Ceremony and engineered by Intel, provides access to text messages, Yelp, Gmail notifications, Facebook events and Google Calendar through discreet notifications delivered directly to the wrist. MICA’s design is constructed of premium finishes and 18K gold coating with a curved sapphire glass touch screen display. One type of design uses black water snake skin, pearls from China and lapis stones from Madagascar, another style features white water snake skin, tiger’s eye from South Africa and obsidian from Russia.

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Intel does not reveal technical specifications of MICA, but it stresses that the device is not a companion for smartphones, but is a fully functional device with built-in 3G/4G module, application processor and micro-USB connection.

“MICA acts as an extension of a customer’s smartphone, for those times when it’s not convenient to carry with you,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Internet of Things, AT&T. “It allows customers to receive texts and email notifications so that they can stay connected, while still wearing a fashionable jewelry piece to almost any occasion.”

MICA provides up to two days of battery life.

MICA will cost $495 and will be available only in the U.S. MICA is connected by AT&T and includes a two-year wireless service plan provided by Intel in the price of the bracelet.

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KitGuru Says: While MICA does not seem to be a truly stylish product, it is the first product that heads in the right direction. Wearable computing gadgets have to be stylish and people need to want to wear them. Only in this case wearable electronics will get popular.

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