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August 20, 2015updated 22 Sep 2016 11:54am

Wearables, IoT & spider robots: 10 take-aways from Intel Developer Forum

From securing IoT to curing cancer, gesture-controlled robots and 3D smartphones, CBR names the main announcements from IDF 15.

By Joao Lima

Intel is this week hosting its annual Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco, featuring some of the most up to date technologies in the industry.

CBR runs down the most noteworthy announcements coming out from IDF.

1. IoT security protocol

Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich (pictured) put the IoT space at the heart of the conference, promising the audience that the company will make the IoT secure.

He said: "We will make our vision of a secure IoT a reality."

The CEO revealed a new security protocol that he said will make IoT communication and transactions more secure.

The Enhanced Privacy Identification (EPID) protocol seeks to create a "silicon level root of trust", with Krzanich explaning that security will be embedded at core of the systems’ hardware.

Read more here.

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2. Cure to cancer

During IDF 2015, Intel announced that its cloud-computing platform dedicated to cancer research will be welcoming new members and contributors in 2016.

The Collaborative Cancer Cloud, created in partnership with the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), will see a health care centre in Boston and another one in Austin, Texas coming on board.

With the cloud platform, organisations can access and share data on their researchers around the cure to cancer. This data is hosted in a shared data centre, according to the semiconductor company.

Read more here.

3. Future of computing

With technology changing at a faster pace than ever before, Krzanich said that the future of computing will be based on three assumptions: sensification, smart and connected. These three factors aim to give computers sight, sound and touch.

The CEO explained that the ‘sensification’ of the computer space will result in the deployment of computing sensors all over the world, making things smarter and the IoT a reality.

He said that computing will have to be smart and connected and built for the IoT, a space where the power of wearable devices will bring the physical environment to life.

Krzanich exemplified his ‘sensification’ model by using Microsoft’s Cortana voice-recognition system to recognise voice commands.

He added: "Devices have to respond in a natural way. Computing used to be confirmed to really a two-dimensional world.

"That’s not enough in today’s world. We want our devices to become more like humans. Talking to a device should feel more like a two way conversation."

4. Intel RealSense

In a push for its RealSense technology, Intel unveiled RealSense technology OS X. RealSense will be available on a wide-range of platforms, opening up more opportunities for developers to create new depth-sensing hardware and software.

In addition to Windows and Android, developers will be able to use Intel’s RealSense with Mac OS X, ROS, Linux, Scratch 1, Unity, XSplit, OBS, Structure SDK, OSVR, Unreal Engine 4 and Google’s Project Tango.

A number of developers, including Razer, XSplit and Savioke have also announced new platforms, peripherals and other solutions based on the Intel’s technology.

During IDF, the company’s CEO showcased several applications of the solution with robots taking centre stage.

Read more here.

5. Intel/Google smartphone

The two titans have entered into a collaboration to developed a powerful smartphone with 3D technology and virtual reality capabilities.

Krzanich showed the audience a prototype device built on Intel’s RealSense Smartphone developer kit featuring Google’s Project Tango.

The company explained the solution will enable new experiences, including indoor navigation and area learning, virtual reality, 3-D scanning, and other applications.

The developer kit is targeted for release to selected Android developers by the end of this year, according to Intel.

6. Intel Optane

Intel’s CEO also revealed that its Optane technology will combine the 3D XPointTM non-volatile memory media with the company’s advanced system memory controller, interface hardware and software IP.

The venture is expected to boost performance in a range of forthcoming products, although the company did not disclose what type of solutions the market can expect.

Beginning in 2016, the Optane will come be available in a new family of SSDs. The new technology will also power a new line of Intel DIMMs designed for Intel’s next-generation data centre platforms.

The 3D XPoint technology combines the performance, density, power, non-volatility and cost advantages of all available memory technologies on the market today, according to Intel.

7. Intel Curie module

The company also unveiled the Curie module, a tiny hardware product developed to offer design flexibility or, in its most basic term, a small IoT chip.

The company explained that the low-power solution comes with compute, motion sensors, Bluetooth Low Energy, battery charging capabilities, and pattern matching capabilities for optimised analysis of sensor data.

The module is packaged into a small form factor and runs a new software platform created specifically for the Curie module.

Intel added that the solution is targeted at "always-on" applications such as health and wellness, social notifications, and sports activities.

The Intel Curie Module includes a low-power, 32-bit Intel Quark microcontroller, 384kB flash memory, 80kB SRAM and low-power, integrated DSP sensor hub and pattern matching technology. The small device still features six-axis combo sensor with accelerometer and gyroscope.

8. Intel reality show

Intel will be entering the reality show business with a program to find the best wearable computing device maker.

The company is collaborating with Mark Burnett’s United Artists Media Group and Turner Broadcasting to create a reality competition called "America’s Greatest Makers".

The show will premiere in the first half of 2016 and showcase makers competing for a $1 million prize by inventing wearable technology and smart connected consumer devices powered by the Intel Curie module.

The announcement was made by Mark Burnett, CEO at United Artists Media Group, together with Krzanich.

9. Smart wearables

The wearables reality TV competition was not the only wearable news coming out from IDF 2015. Intel revealed that it has been working on a smart bracelet that can automatically authenticate a user to a computer and has the intelligence to wake the computer up when that user goes near the device.

The firm explained that users have to authenticate the device while wearing it, and reauthenticate the wearable if they take it off.

Following from the enterprise market, watch maker Fossil also previewed three Intel technology-based products resulting from its wearables collaboration with Intel.

Fossil’s CSMO Greg McKelvey took the stage to show the audience the final products: a connected watch, a connected watch running Android Wear, and a smart bracelet. The products will be available in Q4 2015, according to the company.

10. Smart robots

Robots have been a major hit at IDF 2015. Brian Krzanich said: ""Robots have always had eyes, but until now there has never been a cost-effective way of giving them 3D vision."

While on stage, Krzanich was served a Diet Coke by a robot using an Intel RealSence camera. The Savioke robot, produced by a company with the same name, rolled down the stage to meet with Krzanich and deliver the beverage.

The CEO said that moment was an example of computing ‘sensification’ announcing that Intel will invest more time in integrating its solutions into other robotic gadgets and Oss that can cope with the technology requirements.

Closing his keynote, Krzanich showcased a set of gesture-controlled robots, that look like spiders, using the semiconductor company’s technology.

Krzanich brought several of the arthropods on to the stage, woke them up using his hand and then gave the devices commands with his hands while they danced to a Bruno Mars song.

He joke saying that he does "not think spiders are going to bring about the end of the world", replying to Jimmy Fallon, who in April said on the Tonight Show that "the end of the world is going to be fun" following a demo video featuring the CEO and the robot spiders.

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