The Future, Courtesy of Intel Research Day
I had been looking forward to the Intel Research Day event all year when Intel puts on a show and tell of what their best and brightest in their research groups have been working on. This year was as exciting as ever.
Walk Softly and Carry a Big Gadget
"Carry Small, Live Large," was a big theme at the event. The idea is that the device you have i.e. cell phone, although physically small, can be made virtually huge when it is connected to external computing power and information sources. One demo showed some of the possibilities of "embedding," an Atom processor-based computer embedded in a car environment. Suddenly you're connected to other computers for sharing files, communicating, and anything you can imagine. They showed a new communication standard called VLC or "visible light communication." It's an IEEE standard that will allow things like LED-based traffic lights to transmit data just like a super high speed morse code to a receiver in your car.
Augment My Reality Please
I also saw lots of "augmented" things at the event. In case your reality is getting boring, Intel has ways to augment it. One interesting application used a MID (handheld) with built-in GPS, camera, and add-on "3D orientation sensor." For example, you take a picture of the Golden Gate bridge and the "mobile augmented reality" technology goes out and gets you more information on the subject like the page on the bridge in Wikipedia.
You'll Get Charge Out if This
There was a contactless charging device using a magnetic field that promises to charge your devices from a meter away. Imagine these chargers embedded in the walls of your house able to charge any device within range. They say it may reach power levels approaching 60 watts but is probably 7 years away from being available to the public.
Computer Wake-Up Call
Intel is doing their part for the environment with technology like their "sleep state networking." The idea is that while the rest of your computer sleeps comfortably there is a small component of the Intel chip set that remains awake and wakes the rest of the computer up when necessary.
More Photo-Realistic Games
Perhaps some of the coolest technology at least visually impressive was the work being done on ray tracing and how it may look on computer games of the future. Running on an Intel, eight processor machine which is surprisingly affordable at around $5,000, the ray tracing features which are commercially unavailable at the moment, added stunning details to reflections in glass and water.
Videos of the Event Coming Soon...
Computer History Museum in Sunnyvale, CA of all the
Carry Small, Live Large
Steelcase working with Intel and MIT were showing a collaboration application
In fact collaboration was a big theme this year. One group showed a version of Qwak where a participant in a virtual conference could seemlessly migrate from a desktop to a mobile device (Intel like MIDs - the rest of the world uses Netbooks)