SAN FRANCISCO--Trying to catch up and even surpass Apple’s Siri and Google’s Wallet, Intel Corp. showed efforts with Nuance and Mastercard--and offered a $1 million prize--for creating novel user interfaces for its Ultrabooks. The initiatives were announced at the Intel Developer Forum where much of the initial day focused on the ultrathin notebooks that have yet to gain big market success.
Intel announced just last week that sales for its current quarter would be about $1 billion below expectations, triggering one analyst here to ask if its Ultrabooks will be the hero product Intel hoped.
"We are not taking our foot of the gas--we are pushing harder and innovating more around the [Ultrabook] category," said Dadi Perlmutter, general manager of the Intel Architecture Group, in a Q&A following a keynote address.
Intel showed new processors, novel user interfaces and new form factors to help drive Ultrabooks forward. The Ultrabook “will be a hero product with refreshed form factors,” Permutter said.
In his keynote, Perlmutter showed Ultrabooks from AsusTek, Compal and Sony that could flip, slide or detach their displays to become tablets.
An Intel employee demos a Sony Ultrabook that slides into a tablet.
In an effort to pump up excitement for Ultrabooks, Intel also announced a $1 million prize for the best user interface innovations using the company’s new perceptual computing developers kit.
For its own user interface efforts, Intel is working with Nuance to optimize its Dragon voice recognition on Ultrabooks using x86 processors. Production versions of the software will ship in the first quarter. "We are working with them on future capabilities we have not announced today," Perlmutter said.
Separately, he demoed an Ultrabook using near-field communication (NFC) and new Intel security technology for multi-factor authentication. The system automated the process of an online purchase with a touch of a Mastercard PayPass card with NFC.
As for processors, Perlmutter showed working versions of Intel's next-generation Core CPU, Haswell. The new 22-nm architetcure will deliver twice the graphics performance and use half the power of current Sandy Bridge chips, he said.
Perlmutter said Haswell-based PCs will start shipping by April.