It’s no secret Intel has had trouble gaining a foothold in the mobile device market. The company was issued a major blow last week when its Basis Peak smartwatch brand had to recall all of its devices due to overheating. The overheating in question resulted in burns on the user’s wrist.
Josh Walden, senior vice president and general manager of the Intel New Technology Group, wrote in an e-mail to users, “On behalf of the Basis Science team, I want to personally apologize for this situation. We know that many of you love using your Basis Peak watches and have made them part of your daily lives, and we are very sorry for the disruption this will cause you.”
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Complaints had gone back as far as 2014, and indeed, this reporter’s own wife had experienced burns on her wrist along with finger twitching from using said device, supplied by Intel to journalists in 2014.
“We are issuing this safety recall of the Basis Peak watch because the watch can overheat, which could result in burns or blisters on the skin surface. It is important that you stop using your watch immediately and return it,” wrote Walden.
Basis Peak users will be able to access their online data until the end of the year. The incident highlights the extreme care needed to produce a consumer-level wearable device, as well as the dangers associated with technical mishaps.
On June 13, the company issued a warning to users to cease use of Basis Peak watches due to burn hazards, but it was not until today that the company officially gave up its attempts to rectify the problem via firmware updates.
According to the Basis Peak blog, Basis “had hoped to update the software on your watch to address the problem. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we aren’t able to develop such a solution without completely compromising the experience. As a result, we have decided to recall all Basis Peak watches, and offer full refunds for your watch and authorized accessories. Instead, the product has been shut down entirely, recalled, and users will be issued a refund.”
Basis was launched by Intel in 2014 as a direct-to-consumer product. The device touted extremely accurate heart-rate tracking and better monitoring of sleep and workout periods.