The Intel-owned company Basis announced yesterday that it would recall all of its Peak smart watches after a portion of customers complained of the device overheating. The issue first came about back in June of this year, when Basis halted the production and sales of its Peak devices due to the risk of burns or blistering because of the device becoming too hot during use. The company did issue a software update that it hoped would fix the issue, but it failed to eliminate the problem. Now Basis is recalling all Peak devices and issuing refunds to customers.
Initially, Basis claimed the problem only affected 0.2 percent of all watches sold. That estimate hasn’t changed; however the issue is serious enough for Basis to recall every Peak it has ever sold. The company is asking all users to stop using their Basis Peaks immediately, and warns that the Basis Peak service where data is stored will be shut down next year. Users will have access to all their activity information until December 31, 2016, but after that, you won’t be able to log on, access your data, or sync the device to Peak online services.
A recall is bad, but could be survivable. Fitbit voluntarily recalled its Force fitness band in 2014 due to complaints from some customers that they had developed skin irritation and rashes from wearing the device. Even now, Fitbit urges customers to wear its bands properly to avoid irritated skin, which means not wearing a band too tightly around your wrist and avoiding device contact with soap and water.
Basis’ recall, however, is more concerning since device overheating could cause serious injury if a user wears the watch for too long. While Basis didn’t reveal what could be causing Peaks to overheat, it may have to do with the power it takes for the watch to run all day long as well as the optical heart rate monitor embedded into the underside of the device. Also, the fact that Basis is completely dropping the Peak and its services is a bad sign for the company as a whole. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Basis never really broke into the wearable market like Fitbit or Garmin did—a research analyst estimated that Basis’ sales never exceeded one percent of all smart watches sold.
Basis owners who want to send their devices back for a full refund can get all the information on how to do so at Basis’ support website.