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Skylake who? Intel focuses on smart devices and natural computing at IDF keynote

Mark Hachman | Aug. 19, 2015
Intel teams up with Survivor creator to announce a million-dollar reality show, too.

Krzanich also showed off technology in an Android tablet, where Intel and Google had redesigned the audio path in Android Lollipop to eliminate the ambient latency. It’s only available on Android devices powered by Intel—a minority in the Android space.

Sight via RealSense

Intel also invented the RealSense camera, a depth camera that uses a combination of infrared and conventional light to illuminate and recognize a face. Intel used RealSense as the basis for Windows Hello, the facial recognition technology built into Windows 10. But RealSense can be used for so much more, Intel executives said.

Krzanich showed a smartphone powered by Google’s Project Tango, which integrates computer vision into an Android smartphone. The Tango phone used a RealSense feature called “meshing” to scan real-time objects and transform them into virtual objects. “I truly believe that the potential of this is truly endless,” Krzanich said.

Next up: a virtual butler named a company called Savioke. Hotels can use the robot to deliver sundries like toothbrushes. The robot autonomously navigates through the hotel corridors, to the room, interacts with the customers, and returns back to its charging station. The robot even delivered a Diet Coke to Krzanich on stage.

“We believe that the robotics industry is on the brink of a breakthrough here. Robots have already had eyes,” but never the capabilities to build a map of the world around it. Intel said that ROS, the OS for robots, will now support RealSense—as well as MacOS, StructureSDK, Windows, Android, Unify, and more.

Gaming gets its moment

As PC gaming evolves, Intel needs to focus on two things,  Krzanich said. One, to tightly couple the game with sensors, to align the game with the real and virtual world; and two, to deliver enough horsepower to drive it.

Intel showed off a Skylake system driving iRacing. Skylake, the successor to the desktop Broadwell chips Intel recently introduced, would normally be the focus of the keynote. But with Intel’s thrust into the embedded space, Skylake was almost an afterthought.

In fact, Krzanich seemed to care more about game broadcasting than actual game playing. Intel showed off a RealSense camera manufactured by Razer, which will ship in the first quarter. Today, gamers use cameras with green screens to broadcast over the Internet. With RealSense, anyone can do it, Krzanich said.

Interest in the Internet of Things

Krzanich then showed off a number of smart devices with Intel technology built in.

Krzanich and an employee demonstrated a smart mirror from Memomi that actually changes the color of your reflection’s clothes, without having to change the clothes themselves. The same employee then brought in her daughter to show off the Fuhu Nabi clip, an electronic tether that will alert you if your child wanders off. It will be on store shelves this holiday season, Krzanich said.


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