Think you’ve heard enough about wearable tech? Not so fast. It’s been almost a year since Intel and Opening Ceremony began working together on MICA, which stands for My Intelligent Communication Accessory. And it was worth the wait. After months of anticipation,can confirm that the bracelet is indeed intelligent, and a beautiful accessory to boot.
During a Monday afternoon unveiling, Opening Ceremony founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim joined Intel vice president Ayse Ildeniz and Barneys New York fashion director Tomoko Ogura on stage to show off the goods.
The $495 device, which is available at Opening Ceremony and Barneys starting in December, sure is pretty. Version 1 is covered in black water snakeskin and dotted with Chinese pearls and Madagascan lapis stones. Version 2 comes in white water snakeskin and is decorated with South African tiger’s eye and Russian obsidian (which is a black volcanic glass). “It was important to us that we design something that could really be incorporated into your wardrobe,” said Leon. Still, the product’s beauty is (literally) only the half of it; Intel and OC worked just as hard on the tech and utility behind the piece, too.
Unlike most of the wearable tech out on the market, MICA does the stuff we want it to do. First, for ultimate discretion, the curved sapphire screen sits on the inside of the wrist, not the outside. The user can sync it to her Google calendar and up to two Gmail accounts and even set alerts for Facebook events, rarely worrying about battery life, which can last up to 48 hours between USB-powered charges. The bracelet also comes with its own AT&T SIM card with data paid for two years, which is a pretty big deal. (Because it has its own SIM card, it doesn’t need to link up with your cellphone in any way. That means you can send and receive text messages from friends and colleagues instantly—you just need to give them your MICA number.) In addition, Intel also teamed up with Yelp to provide localized restaurant and shopping recommendations.
These are all functions that a woman—the kind who shops at Opening Ceremony or Barneys, and generally loves nice things—tends to value, and could easily come to rely on having at her fingertips on the inside of her wrist. Of course, the device “isn’t meant to replace your phone,” Lim says. “It’s very specific. You can choose how many people you want to be able to message, and I think that’s the great purpose of it. It’s meant to really keep you connected to as many or as little people as you want it to.”
Post unveiling, Lim and Leon set up four friends—personal trainer Nicole Winhoffer, artist Jeanette Hayes, creative consultants Jenné Lombardo and Lily Kwong—in four corners of the room to show off the goods. And to further drive home the “fun” factor, the team enlisted Jenna Elizabeth to direct a short film starring OC-friend Rashida Jones, in which the actress plays an exceedingly well-dressed entrepreneur who finds plenty of uses for her MICA. She’s very convincing, and so are Opening Ceremony and Intel.