Intel builds tiny 3G modem for the wearable tech market

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The 'world's smallest' modem has been unveiled by Intel, reports BBC News, with the tech claimed to be the size of a UK one pence piece.

The XMM 6255 is a standalone chip that has reportedly been designed with the growing wearable technology market in mind.

The versatile modem could be used in a variety of devices, such as smart watches or technology around the home.

Sergis Mushell, a Gartner research director, told the BBC: "It's not just about the size of it. What Intel is really doing is going after a significant stake in the Internet of Things market, where connectivity is most important.

"Getting connectivity right is essential for their entire product portfolio," he continued. "Anything with a screen will need to have connectivity."

The 3G modem has an in-built power supply and has been built to be very durable.

The forecast for wearable technology was recently revealed to be very positive, with experts predicting that sales could rise to up to 135 million by 2018, with smart watches making up 80 per cent of that figure.

Marina Koytcheva, CCS Insight director of forecasting, said: "The wearables market is in its Stone Age right now. There needs to be huge improvements to broaden their appeal. This is particularly acute when it comes to devices for women: wearables need to quickly move on from black, clunky devices - fortunately we're starting to see the first steps in this direction."

Flexible, ultra-thin batteries are also being developed by Imprint Energy, which it is hoped will ultimately lead to wearable devices being made thinner and less obtrusive over time.

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

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