Connected homes, smart TVs, and drones that fly themselves all form part of Intel’s future view
Intel has been at the forefront of computing innovation for many years, and this week celebrated 50 years of Moore’s Law by showing off some of the hottest new technology using its hardware at an event in London.
Spanning a wide variety of verticals, the Intel Future Showcase was packed full of natty products and services which should be coming to a home or business near you soon, showing the huge strides made in the processing market over the last half a century.
We’ve all heard about how the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to change the way we live and work, but as it stands, much of the headline use cases are still in a development phase.
At the Future Showcase, however, this was very much reality. Intel showed off a model smart home (pictured right) with a central command gateway powered by its Quark processors. The console allows the control of a range of factors including temperature, heating, and streaming entertainment content, so users will never be caught short, and can even control their home using a linked smartphone app.
But far from just turning the lights on and off, the Quark gateway also allow for the creation of rules to ensure your home is as smart as it can be. For example, as soon as you leave a 100m radius of your home, a signal is sent to power down all necessary appliances and lighting, whilst also setting the burglar alarms in case of unwanted intruders.
But the Future Showcase also showed off smaller, more practical use cases for connected technology. One such example was a child’s car seat, (pictured right) to ensure babies or toddlers are never left alone in a hot car. Suggested by a new mother who was an Intel employee, the car sear features an in-built sensor which is able to detect whether the child’s belt has been secured – meaning (hopefully) that the child is in the car.
And if not disabled, the sensor will send an alert to the users’ phone if they get a certain distance from the car telling them that their child is still in the vehicle, as well as signifying if the temperature inside is getting too hot.
Drones have also become unwelcome news fodder in recent months, thanks to a range of news stories which showed both the positive and negative use cases for the technology.
Unsurprisingly, Intel is looking to emphasise the positive uses, and was able to show off a self-navigating drone that is one of the most advanced units ever built. Developed in partnership with ASCTEC, the Firefly drone is equipped with six camera packing RealSense depth-perception technology, giving it hyper-detailed 360-degree views of its surroundings, meaning it can plot its own way through tough environments.
The increasingly-connected world has also led some to forecast the death of the traditional laptop and desktop PCs, as new technology means anything can become a computer.
But Intel has shown that there is still life in the platform yet. One of the most impressive demos at the show was, on the face of it, a modern update of one of the most common typing processes – copy and paste. However, using copper conductors built into a laptop, linking to receptors in a wearable technology device, Intel were able to show us how data can be copied from one computer to another – without the need for cables.
The copper conductors (pictured right) transmit the data through a users’ skin over to the wearable device, which picks up the information and stores it until the circuit is completed again with another computer.
The company has also looked to revolutionise the build of a PC to make it a highly portable, yet still powerful, presence. We were shown the latest version of Intel’s Compute Stick, a plug-in device that connects with an HDMI port to turn any display into a computer. Packing a quad-core Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage into a unit around the size of a packet of gum, it also includes Bluetooth connectivity, meaning accessories such as keyboards and mice can also be hooked up.
So it may have been 50 years since Gordon Moore first predicted the incredible rise of computing power in our devices, but the innovation shows no sign of stopping – which can only be good news for all of us.