If you think the biggest event of next week is the Apple press conference, you’re clearly not a chip-head. For those of us deeply embedded and ensconced in the world of semiconductor hardware, Intel’s yearly developer forum (IDF) held in San Francisco’s Moscone center is still a yearly highlight and this year won’t disappoint.
We’ve been told that this year’s x(86)travaganza will revolve mainly around three topics; perceptual computing (or natural user interface), touch and convertible, and of course all the news around Intel’s low power 4th generation core processors, which are said to be doing better than expected.
All in all, not a bad line-up. Let’s take a look at each in slightly greater detail.
First off, perceptual computing, a rather obtuse name for a cool topic, imparting human senses or the ability to naturally perceive human intentions to computing devices, thereby making them intuitive and easier to use.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas back in January, Intel already set the scene for its future perceptual aspirations with talk of voice recognition integration, but touch is the next big thing coming to Ultrabooks with Windows 8.
Even touch, however, is just the beginning, with Intel making big bets on a not-too-distant future where embedded cameras and sensors (amongst other things) will recognize hand gestures, faces, and enable better voice processing, while allowing users to control their screens in more interactive, personalized ways.
At IDF, Intel will apparently be showcasing several initiatives which will help enable hardware and software developers to drive perceptual computing aggressively into Intel platforms starting this year. If this is what peaks your interest, we’re told executive vice president and general manager of Intel’s mobility group, David (Dadi) Perlmutter, will be discussing it at greater length during his keynote on Tuesday September 11.
Touch and convertible to the PC
Touch is coming to the ultrabook in a very big way, and Intel is betting that people will fall in love with it.
The firm says that overwhelmingly its research has shown that when people were given an ultrabook with touch, they automatically used the feature in 80 percent of their applications, even claiming to feel a better emotional connection to their device.
Microsoft Windows 8, of course, is specifically designed with touch in mind, and OEMs are refreshing their systems with touch capabilities in time for this coming holiday season.
Intel will be touting 40 touch-enabled ultrabook design wins in the pipeline, which insiders say consumers should expect to see before this year’s end.