Intel gets into wearable technology

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Date: Wednesday, January 8th, 2014, 16:50
Category: Accessory, conference, Consumer Electronics, Gadget, Intel, Wearables

intel_ceo_bryan_ces-2014Wearable technology seems to be the hot topic these days. With products like the Pebble smartwatch creeping into the mainstream, every tech company on the planet now seems itching to attach something onto your body. This week, CES hosted companies that had more smartwatch solutions, but Intel may have taken the lead in proposing where wearables are headed next. While chief executive Brian Krzanich didn’t announce any actual products, per se, however he did introduce a number of proof-of-concept devices designed by Intel that represent where Intel is targeting some of its new technology.

According to VentureBeat, one of these technologies is Intel’s new Quark microprocessor, which is targeted at low-cost, low-power applications. An example of its use were Intel-designed wearable devices including smart earbuds with biometric fitness capabilities, an always-on headset that integrates with existing personal assistant technologies, and a smart wireless charging bowl. The personal assistant part of that is what Intel is calling “Jarvis”, a likely reference to the Marvel comic’s computer AI “butler” that assists Tony Stark (Ironman) and the Avengers. Jarvis would be a Siri-like assistant that would help you control and receive information from wearable devices. Krzanich also showed off Intel Edison, a new Intel Quark-based computer housed in an SD card which has as much computing power at Intel’s old Pentium microprocessors. It’s expected to be available in mid-2014. The VentureBeat article reported that Krzanich gave an example of Edison’s possibilities;

“…[he] showed how Edison could be built into a baby’s onesy. It detects if the temperature of the baby’s onesy gets too hot. You can get your notifications on your coffee cup, which has a green indicator or a red indicator to tell you if you need to do something for your baby.

“With Edison, the opportunities are endless,” Krzanich said.”

Krzanich concluded with a summon to the world to innovate with the Intel “make it wearable” challenge. The grand prize is $500,000, and it will have $1.3 million in prizes altogether.

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