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Intel pushing Make it Wearable challenge

Intel pushing Make it Wearable challenge

Intel's interest in the wearable and embedded computing segments continues with the company funding a major competition to foster innovation in the wearables market.

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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