Intel teams up with ESPN to build connected snowboards

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Intel has announced that it’s doing deals with two companies that’ll put its tiny computer module, Curie, in plenty of action sports gear. The first is with ESPN, the network that’s covering the 2016 Winter X Games later this month. The firm is installing Curie modules into the snowboards used for the Men’s Slopestyle and Big Air competitions. The hardware will transmit real-time data about athlete performance, such as jump height, in-air rotation and the force that they hit the ground with. These stats will then be pushed to the TV studio for commentators to bring up when discussing each participant’s chances.

In addition, the firm has shaken hands with Red Bull Media House to help put Curie technology into various other sports-related gear. We’ve already seen how Intel has crammed a Curie module into a BMX bike to help riders improve, and given how many activities Red Bull sponsors, we’re sure that plenty more could work.

You might be wondering why Intel has suddenly become obsessed with action sports and BMX stunts, which isn’t evidence of a mid-life crisis. The firm is facing up to the issue that its core business as a chipmaker for PCs and laptops is becoming increasingly irrelevant. As sales of such devices trend downwards, Intel’s woes begin to increase, and its last financials saw a 6.3 percent drop in profit. As such, it needs to get its products adopted by other industries, such as cash-rich action sports fans.