SAN FRANCISCO - Get ready for a new breed of robot, connected dirtbikes and holographic images that deliver feedback. At Intel's Developer Forum key note address, the chipmaker's CEO Brian Krzanich highlighted a bevy of new devices and experiences made possible by the company's latest technological advances.
Krzanich took the stage and welcomed the crowd, saying "this is about you, our developers and the amazing experiences that you make possible." Krzanich then cited a digital pinball game and a electronic mouse trap contraption that the company had shown before he got on stage as examples of innovations which are powered by Intel technology.
After showing a video of developers talking about various toys and other connected objects, Krzanich said that there are three assumptions driving the company's innovations.
- Sensification - the application of additional ways of interacting with computers such as natural language and gestures
- Smart and Connected - connecting everything to the cloud
- Extension of you - wearables and other devices that make it a part of each person
Talking about sensification, he said that a "voice controlled experience shouldn't start by pushing a button" and that "talking to a device should feel like a two-way conversation." He then announced Intel Smart Sound technology and its "wake-on-voice" feature, which allows it to listen for a command, even when in deep sleep. He invited a demo guy named Craig on stage, who showed how a notebook with an Intel 6th Generation Core processor could wake up from sleep (screen off) when he said "Hey Cortana." Krzanich said that wake-on-voice works whether commands are processed locally or in the cloud and that it would be available on all upcoming Intel chips, from Atom on the low end to Core i7 on the high-end.
Krzanich then showed how Intel and Google are working to reduce audio latency in Google. He opened a music keyboard application on an Android tablet and showed how sound didn't come out immediately when he hit a key. However, with Intel's new technology, the tablet emitting sound came out immediately.
He then talked about Intel's RealSense camera technology. He took out a smartphone reference design with RealSense and explained how its camera can 3D scan objects. Demo guy Craig came on stage to show how RealSense, in concert with Google's Project Tango, could help scan parts of a room to help build a virtual world. "I truly believe that usages of this are relatively endless, " Krzanich said.
Krzanich then explained how RealSense cameras can power robots. He showed a video of a robot that performs room service at a hotel, bringing tooth brushes to guests. In the video, the robot's developer explained that RealSense cameras allow it to navigate around the environment, without bumping into people. The robot then came on stage and brought Intel's CEO a Diet Coke.
Intel's CEO said that robots have "always had eyes" but that RealSense provides a cost-effective way for them to make 3D maps of their environment and avoid obstacles. He then announced that RealSense will now support a variety of operating systems including the robot operating system ROSS, Mac OS X, Unity 3D and several others.
Talking about sensification in gaming, Krzanich showed a game developer named Chad playing a racing game with a steering wheel and three giant monitors in front of him. A RealSense camera captured Chad's head movements and adjusted the first-person perspective based on eye location.
A representative named Uri from Razer came on stage and showed off a RealSense powered-camera from his company that's designed to broadcast gamers in real-time to Twitch. Krzanich said that Razer's camera would be available in the near future.
Smart and Connected
"Think about rooms that know you're there and how many people are there, " Krzanich said, switching the conversation to connected devices. He then called an Intel rep named Marci on stage, who demonstrated how a connected mirror would allow her to try on a jacket and change the color of the clothing in the reflection just by hitting a mirror. She then shared the captured the image with people on a social network. The Memomi Memory Mirror is out today and in a couple of Nieman Marcus stores, according to Krzanich.
Marci came back on stage with her young daughter in a car seat to show a clip with sensors that prevents parents from accidentally leaving their kids in the back seat when they leave the car. She showed how the Baby Seat Clip from Nabi pairs with a smartphone to alert people when they walk too far away from the child, potentially leaving them in harm's way.
Krzanich then called Craig back on stage to demonstrate a connected vending machine. The demo guy explained that the vending machine was able to gather demographic data such as his age, via its camera. He also said the machine uses RealSense cameras to allow you to buy snacks using gestures, so you can buy something without touching the buttons on the screen, and potentially getting germs on your hands. Craig said N&W, the company behind the machine, will be putting 5, 000 of them out in the near future.
Intel's CEO then said that his company is building 5G networks and modems to help get all these new connected devices online from anywhere.
"It makes sense for things to be smart and connected, because they see you, they hear you, they're part of you, " he said.
An Extension of You
"As everything becomes smart and connected, it becomes an extension of you, " Krzanich said switching the topic to ewarables. He then called an executive from Fossil, Greg McKelvey, on stage, because Intel and Fossil announced a partnership at last year's IDF. McKelvey talked about how his designers put fashion and usability first and technology second.
The Fossil executive gave the audience a quick look at a new line of products, a connected bracelet and a new Android Wear watch, with a round, metal body reminiscent of the Moto 360. This will be the first time Fossil has released an Android Wear device.
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