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Intel CEO points toward wearable future with 'smart earbud', smartwatch

Mark Hachman | Jan. 8, 2014
At CES, Intel announced the "Edison," the next-generation of Quark, along with a ton of wearable prototypes--including, yes, the obligatory smartwatch.

Krzanich then launched Edison, a successor to the Quark embedded processor that Intel launched at the Intel Developer Forum, but made using a 22-nanometer process. It runs Linux, and features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth low energy. It even integrates Mathematica, and Wolfram Alpha's language processing.

Alongside Rest Devices, a small startup from MIT, Intel created a "smart onesie" that measures pulse, temperature, and breathing. The onesie not only monitors body heat, but it can also project a display on something like a coffee cup if the baby gets too hot. And if the baby's hungry, the onesie can signal a bottle warmer to start up.

Krzanich then announced a content for the best wearable design with a whopping $1.3 million in prizes. The top prize will be $500,000, and the winners will be connected with the top executives at Intel to take their products further.

For security, the phones, tablets, and other wearables will be protected by Intel's McAfee division. "We want to bring this capability to everybody, because we think this is critical" Krzanich said. All mobile devices—tablets, phones, wearables powered by Intel or by other suppliers—will be protected by McAfee software under a new offer by Intel. And all for free.

"We believe this will allow this ecosystem to flourish," Krzanich told the audience.

Businesses...building on dual-booting Android?
A few years ago, Intel made a big bet on Ultrabooks. More recently, Intel has begun pushing two-in-one devices. But what if you wanted Android? The answer is Intel Device Protection Technology, which will be used to secure Android in laptops and tablets for IT admins too leery of introducing Android into their enterprises. It will be available this year.

But customers didn't stop there. They wanted more choice—a dual-OS platform that runs both Windows and Android. And so Intel helped launch what some called "PC Plus" a few weeks ago: With a touch of a button, you can switch between Windows and Android.

Intel presents RealSense

Earlier on Monday, Intel announced the RealSense brand and launched a 3D camera that several top-tier OEMs will build into various laptops, tablets, and all-in-ones. The integrated cameras will allow PC owners to perform everything from "air gestures" to facial tracking to games, all without having to actually touch a PC. Krzanich showed off the camera "scanning" an Intel bunny suit doll, then sent the model to a 3D printer.

"We believe this capability will unleash a new wave of ingenuity in the workplace," Krzanich said. "Everybody will be able to become an entrepreneur, and a maker,"

Intel is putting a new spin on how kids play, too. On Monday, the company revisited something it demoed earlier in the day—mixing and matching a virtual object and real toys, so that the virtual creations could "interact" with real objects like toy blocks. (Qualcomm also demonstrated a similar technology at the launch of the Toq smartwatch a few months back.)


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