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IDF keynote: from stylish wearables to wireless laptop charging

Elias Plastiras | Sept. 11, 2014
In the opening keynote at IDF today, Intel showed off wearable tech, Internet of Things boards, wireless charging, and it introduced the 2015 version of the Core processor, codenamed Skylake.

In Tuesday's opening keynote at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco, Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich talked about not only the emergence of wearable technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), but also of the key roles that partnerships and developers need to play in order to create truly great products.

Collaboration on wearabes

Intel has come to the realisation that strong collaboration is needed in the wearable space to make products that will appeal to a broad audience. While Intel can supply the tech that makes a wearable gadget tick, and the reference design that's needed to implement it, the actual style of the products is left to other brands that Intel partners with, such as timepiece maker Fossil, and headphone maker, SMS.

Equally as important as the style are the development environments for these products, so that they can be used across as wide an array of scenarios as possible. There has to be plenty of opportunity there for developers to make the most of the technology in the easiest possible way.

To this end, Intel has formed the Open Internet Consortium for home devices, which has over 70 partners aiming to build a standard, open platform and protocols for developers to make the most of the devices. The torrents of data created by wearables and IoT devices also means that data analytics will play a crucial role in the way they are used and how effective they can be. Intel is facilitating a cloud-based solution in this area with it's Analytics for Wearables (A-Wear) developer program.

Edison to power IoT

Intel today also used the keynote to announce the availability of its Edison development platform, which is a brand new product in the company's IoT category. Edison is designed to be a low-power SoC (system on a chip) that can be placed into any device or scenario where computing and connectivity are desired.

For the Internet of Things: Intel's Edison development board.

Unlike Intel's Galileo board, which is aimed at hobbyists and beginners, the new Edison board hopes to tap into a market of professional developers and entrepreneurs who might otherwise not have the resources to fulfil their needs. Initially, it will support development through Intel's Arduino kit and C/C++, with support for Python, Node.JS, and visual programming support to be added at some point in the future.

Applications of the Edison can be broad, with examples shown at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco including an Edison-powered quad copter capable of trcking a subject, a Braille printer, and even interactive garments.

Powering Edison is a 22-nanometre Intel Atom SoC with two cores and a 500MHz frequency, and it includes memory (1GB LPDDR3), flash storage (4GB EMMC), as well as a Broadcom module that provides Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth. The entire board is about the size of a postage stamp.


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