When the Basis Peak was released in the fall of 2014, it was one of the most appealing wearables on the market. Straddling the line between smartwatch and fitness tracker, the Peak was a comparative steal at $200. The device was able to receive notifications and alert you to phone calls, texts, and emails in addition to tracking your movement, sleep, and heart rate. But with the looming threat of the Apple Watch and a ton of competing products hitting the market at the same time, the Basis Peak had a tough time find an audience. But apparently that was the least of its issues.
Intel, who purchased Peak in mid-2014, has announced a full recall of all Basis Peak watches and accessories. It came to light in June that users were reporting the wearable would overheat and cause burns and blisters. At the time, Intel advised owners that a firmware update to address the issue would be released eminently and to abstain from using the device until then. With yesterday’s recall announcement, Intel released a statement that a software fix could not be found without crippling the device. The chip-maker is providing a full refund for all eligible products returned. To emphasize that this is a mandatory recall, Intel is shutting down all Basis services and servers by the end of the year. Intel is making it clear, if you have a Basis Peak, it will be bricked without the servers.
Having never introduced a “next-generation” device, with no products in the pipeline, no brand recognition, and having all services shut down, this is the end of Basis. The company was one of the early players in the wearable tech space, but it never could find solid ground. When Intel purchased the startup for $100 million there was a feeling great things might come from company. That never transpired though. As the smartwatch / fitness tracker segment has become more mature it has condensed with an emphasis towards larger brands; Basis has been estimated to never of surpassed 1% market share. With the steep purchase price paid by Intel, and now having to pay back customers, hopefully some of the technology behind the Peak and the talent from within Basis has helped Intel with their Fossil and Tag Heuer wearables initiative.