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Intel Gets Into Reality TV Game with Wearables Competition

The company is working with the producer of "Survivor" and "Shark Tank" to bring a show featuring device makers to TBS next year.

Intel Gets Into Reality TV

SAN FRANCISCO—Intel is going into reality TV.

The chip maker is partnering with Mark Burnett—the create of such series as "Survivor," "Shark Tank," and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump's "The Apprentice"—to create a television show in which device makers compete to create the best wearable or connected device using Intel's Curie technology.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Burnett introduced the competition Aug. 18 during the open address at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) here. The show—"America's Greatest Makers"—will air on Turner Broadcasting's TBS channel next year and will come with a $1 million prize for the first-place finishers.

Burnett, CEO of United Artists Media Group, told the crowd at IDF that "this is my favorite new project."

Intel has aggressively been moving into the Internet of things (IoT) and wearables markets, introducing such development platforms as Edison and Galileo and a family of chips called Quark. At the same time, the company has partnered with retailers and device makers to develop fashionable connected devices like bracelets and watches.

The company introduced the tiny Quark-powered Curie module at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in January, and during his talk at IDF, Krzanich introduced a new platform based on the button-sized Curie that includes not only the Quark systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) but also firmware, software and an application software developer kit (SDK).

The CEO focused much of his keynote address on technologies that Intel offers for the rapidly growing number of smart, connected devices coming on the market. IDC analysts in June said that in the first quarter, vendors shipped 11.4 million wearable computing devices, a 200 percent increase over the 3.8 million shipped during the same period last year.

Neither Krzanich nor Burnett gave much detail about the show or its format. According to the page for it on Intel's Website, applicants should submit a video "to tell us a little about yourself and your idea, and why you want to be part of this challenge."

Applicants need to be age 15 or older—those younger than 18 need parental or guardian consent—and each team can have no more than four participants. Krzanich said those interested can submit applications between now and Oct. 2.

Intel introduced its first wearable device competition at IDF last year, with 3,000 people entering. Bringing it to television is sure to ramp up the interest.