IDF Spring 2008 – Day Zero – Research at Intel

Intel starts its IDF festivities off in traditional fashion with a brief overview of some of its research projects.

As has become something of a tradition, the day before the official first day – or day zero as its become known – of Intel’s Developer Forum was an all press event dedicated to highlighting the multitude of research projects Intel is involved with around the world. Unlike previous events, though, this year the research was dominated by one, not just solid but, also tangible theme, that of what Intel has dubbed ‘Carry Small, Live Large’, or CSLL.

Now, it doesn’t take a degree in material science to guess what the general idea behind this theme is – answers on a postcard, please – however, there was more on show than the obvious smaller and lower power CPUs (though there was some of that as well).

The key idea is that while devices can and will continue to get smaller and more powerful, to really improve the user experience they will have to become more intelligent. For example, Kevin Kahn, a senior fellow with Intel, used the example of taking a mobile phone-type device onto a plane. When onboard, rather than use the phone’s tiny screen, your portable friend would be able to interact with the seat-back screen and use it to display your emails, browse the web, or view video.

Likewise, you should be able to walk into a room and have your laptop communicate with a projector to display your content without all the hassle usually associated with trying to do this. What’s more, depending on the content being shown, the two should decide between themselves the most efficient way to transmit, and how best to display, the content you’re viewing.

There’s also a focus on improving context-awareness so devices no longer passively do what you tell them but they interpret their surroundings and give you feedback. For example, the camera sensors in our phones should be able to recognise the scene they’re viewing, by combining image-recognition with GPS tracking, and provide the user with relevant information about where they are.

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