RealSense

13 New Technologies from Computex Worth a Second Look

Ken Kaplan Executive Editor, iQ by Intel
computex demo

An abundance of new consumer electronic devices hit the scene at last week’s Comptex in Taipei, Taiwan. While there were strong signs of experimentation with shape, sizes and new capabilities, a common theme proved to be increasing computing performance for all kinds of devices.

The depth and breadth of new electronics revealed at Computex showed that innovation waits for nobody and stops at nothing, as Intel President Renee James said to the Computex audience during her keynote.

Moore’s Law is the foundation, said James, pointing to the doubling of transistors on a chip roughly every two years. She said it is reducing costs for increasingly smaller devices with increasing performance and lower power consumption.

Llama Mountain, a prototype design by Intel, showed how future 2 in 1 devices can become feather light, super sleek and remain cool without a fan.

This concept, a laptop that detaches from its keyboard to function like a tablet, featured a 12.5-inch screen measured 7.2mm thick.

Making this sleek design possible is the Intel Core M processor (codenamed Broadwell-Y), a forthcoming chip built with 14-nanometer transistors, which are smaller than today’s 22-nanometer 4th generation Intel Core processors.

Llama Mountain showed that future 2 in 1 devices won’t require a fan, allowing them to be even thinner than most of today’s models.

Intel also demonstrated a 10-inch version of that dockable tablet, which was lighter and only 6.8mm thick.

“This is a breakthrough,” wrote Steve “Chippy” Paine of Ultrabook News. The veteran reviewer of mobile devices wrote that now we have “a Core-powered fanless tablet at a consumer-friendly weight.”

There was even a 2 in 1 by Fujitsu submerged in a fish tank to show how it can take a dousing and keep on computing. It provided yet another reason to move your office poolside.

Asus showed their sleek, new Transformer Book t300 Chi.

Acer showed their recent Aspire Switch 2 in 1.

Singapore’s Straits Times gave it their Digital Life Editors Award, pointing out that this new new hybrid laptop-tablet device running the Windows operating system is a solid, creative and affordable addition to the genre.

The Switch 2-in-1 has a nifty SnapHinge connector that allows the screen to detach so it can be used in tablet mode.

While Asus showed their Zenfone line of smartphones designed for mobile photo buffs and selfie shutterbugs, it was their Fonepad 8 that really turned heads.

“It is probably the 8-inch Fonepad that has stolen much of the spotlight and attention,” on the showroom floor at Computex, wrote Slashgear’s JC Torres.

Offering a peek into what might power future smartphones and mobile devices, James made a phone call using a smartphone built with Intel’s forthcoming system-on-a-chip, codenamed SoFIA.

The first SoFIA chips, which will have dual processing cores and integrated 3G, are expected to start shipping to phone makers by the end of this year. A quad-core and 4G LTE versions shipping in the first half of next year.

A slew of new tablets were shown at Computex, including at least 10 new tablets powered by Intel processors.

There were high performing tablets running the Windows operating system and a variety tablets running Google’s Android operating system.

Leading into Computex, Dell unveiled a new wave of devices including the new Dell Venue 7 and Venue 8 Android tablets based on Intel Atom processors (codenamed Merrifield).

A significant number of phablets at the event signaled the growing interest and innovation in these ultra-mobile devices that fit between an always-connected smartphone and much bigger screened tablets, which are more commonly used for enjoying entertainment.

Local device manufacturer Foxconn joined James during her keynote to show many of the Intel-based tablets available now or coming soon, each powered by  Intel Atom processors (codenamed “Bay Trail” or “Clovertrail+”), and many include Intel’s 3G or LTE communications technologies.

The Acer Iconia Tab 8 (pictured at top) was one of a many new devices that Jason Chen, CEO of Acer, showed on state with Hermann Eul, vice president and general manager of the Mobile Communications Group at Intel.

This highly portable 8-inch Android tablet with a Full HD display enhanced with Zero Air Gap technology, leading to a simple and elegant design.

Chen said it’s an excellent value, and compelling for young users and families.

Mobile devices weren’t the only computing devices that hit the scene with better performance. PC gamers were treated to Devil’s Canyon, codename for forthcoming Intel processor technology that boasts quad-core performance at up to 4 GHz base frequency.

James introduced this new 4th generation Intel Core i7 and i5 processor “K,” the first from Intel to deliver four cores at up to 4 GHz base frequency. This desktop processor is built for enthusiasts and provides higher performance with new levels of overclocking capability.

Not only that, but the new icon might be the coolest thing with the release of Intel’s Skulltrail logo.

During the event, a system with overclocked air-cooled Intel Devil’s Canyon processor broke the world speed record, achieving over 5.5Ghz clock speed.

Gamers are also getting a chance to go nuts with a new, unlocked 20th anniversary Intel Pentium processor, released during Computex.

Maybe tough to see, but a tiny strip of technology shown at Computex will give future computing devices the ability see us and the world in 3D.

Like giving computers the human sense of vision, this Intel RealSense camera will allow people to interact more naturally with devices, using hand gestures and facial recognition, just to name a few.

It could lead to no more passwords needed to log into your computer and secure Websites and Internet services.

To help bring this to reality quicker, Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel unveiled a Windows software developer kit to inspire more natural and engaging computing experience through the use of Intel RealSense 3D cameras. He kicked off the $1 Million Intel RealSense App Challenge 2014, open to developers worldwide.

Skaugan said that teams across Intel are working to eliminate wires from computing devices, and that new technologies will appear in reference designs coming for the Intel Core Processor families that follow codename Broadwell.

He also how a wireless charging tablet can transfer power to charge multiple devices.

If that’s not enough, tour the Intel booth at Computex in six seconds.

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