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Intel’s CEO looks to hobbyists for wearable innovations

(Reuters) – Intel Corp’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich mingled with electronics buffs at Silicon Valley’s annual maker mecca on Saturday as the chipmaker looks to amateur inventors to inspire a new wave of smart clothing.

With sales of smartphones losing steam, technology companies including Intel believe that wearable computing devices – a still undefined category including smart watches, fitness trackers and Google Glass – could become a major trend in personal computing.

But smartwatches and fitness bands launched by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and other tech companies in the past year have yet to really take off.

At the Maker Faire in San Mateo, California, Krzanich told Reuters that successful smart clothes will come from individual inventors focused on their own needs.

“The trick to making the perfect wearable is going to be when you figure out what problems you’re trying to solve, and I don’t think you’re going to be able to build a wearable that does it all for everyone,” he said.

“Who better to design the next athletic wearable than an athlete,” added Krzanich.

Thousands of people attended the open-air event, which gives hobbyists and their families a chance to socialize and check out other people’s projects. Among the most popular attractions were demonstrations of flying drones, voice-activated robots and a giant metal octopus shooting fire from its tentacles.

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