Highlights from Intel CEO Brian Krzanich’s keynote.
On January 6, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich delivered the official kick-off keynote at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. On the blue-lit stage, amid buzzing drones, tables that charge laptops, a bracelet that flies and a guy handling raw chicken, Krzanich gave a relaxed, entertaining introduction to all the intelligent devices in store for 2015.
Building on what he presented last year, Krzanich explored the people and technologies shaping our future.
He covered themes that were also organized into experiences attendees could have at the Intel booth, which was the “Most Eye-Catching” booth at CES 2015, according to Find The Best in Time magazine.
“Only one space in all of CES is both foreign and inviting, like a time capsule from the future that instantly feels right at home,” stated the article, describing Intel’s booth, which led the top 20 list. “To walk through Intel’s corner is to experience the very best version of the show — the most eye-catching booth at CES.”
In his keynote, Krzanich talked about the Wearables Revolution, Intelligence Everywhere, Accelerating Diversity in Technology, and The New Computing Experience.
He talked about how computing experiences will be changing dramatically this year.
You will become your password as new True Key technology lets you simply and safely log into devices, even your front door, using facial dimensions.
A lot of these new experiences will come from the fact that devices will have more human-like senses, so they can see the world in 3D.
He showed how Intel RealSense 3D camera technology will be used in new tablets and watched as a chef prepared a skillet fried chicken meal following an online recipe while using hand gestures to control his laptop so he could keep his hands on the messy ingredients.
Krzanich highlighted new wireless charging plans with Hilton, Jaguar Land Rover, San Francisco International Airport and Marriott, all of which will roll out pilot programs soon so people can experience wireless charging at airports, cafes, hotels and other public places.
The technology can be easily fitted under existing tables or counter tops, which essentially make them wireless charging pads.
He demonstrated how a personal computer, in this case a 2 in 1 laptop-to-tablet device, can be placed on table and start charging. The first laptops with wireless charging will come out later this year.
“Imagine a world where you can charge your devices wherever you are,” says Krzanich.
He also revealed the very first prototype of the Intel Curie Module, which is tiny, mighty technology that will help bring wearable innovations to life.
He explained that wearables require computing intelligence to fit inside all sorts of things, magical things of different shapes and sizes, even beyond our imagination.
Curie is for product designers from the world of sports, fashion, travel and other areas who may be embedding computer technology for the first time or want to scale and go to market quickly.
He showed that the button-sized technology wasn’t a phony by revealing that the Curie prototype was sending live pedometer data to an app on his smartphone.
Nixie founders Christoph Kohstall and Jelena Jovanovic demonstrated the wristband-turned flying camera for the first time in front of a large public audience.
“Lets make this the biggest Twitter moment of CES,” said Krzanich.
Thousands of people in the audience sat at the edge of their seats — and countless others watched live via the Internet — as Kohstall tossed his Nixie into the air. It immediately took flight, propelling forward before turning around and snapping a photo of the three. That photo was quickly displayed on the big screen for all to see.
No remote control required. It was fully autonomous.
Nixie was the first-place winner of Intel’s 2014 Make it Wearable challenge, a worldwide competition to encourage inventors to create innovative wearables using Intel’s Edison technology, a small computer chip and hardware platform Intel designed specifically for wearables and Internet of Things devices.
The $500,000 top prize is helping the Los Altos-based Team Nixie build the product.
Krzanich went on to say that Intel will sponsor the Intel “Make it Wearable” challenge again in 2015.
There were a lot of flying things at CES this year, but Krzanich said they could all become smarter, safer and autonomous with Intel inside.
Equipped with six Intel RealSense cameras and an Intel processor, a flock of Asctec Fireflys joined Kzranich onstage during his keynote address and demonstrated the drone’s ability to maneuver autonomously and even push away from approaching people.
Demonstrating this drone-human dance, Krzanich joined in for a lively game of drone ping pong then he provided play-by-play analysis of his own Game of Drones, where a Intel RealSense equipped drone flew autonomously through a maze outside the keynote hall.
But RealSense isn’t limited to things. It can also help people see.
A wearable, environmental sensing system, which uses Intel RealSense 3D camera technology, made its public debut during Krzanich’s keynote. He said there 39 million blind people in the world and 250 million people with impaired vision who could potentially benefit from this technology in the future.
Krzanich invited to the stage Darryl Adams, a technical project manager at Intel who was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) nearly 30 years ago. Photoreceptors in Adams’ eyes are declining, weakening his peripheral vision and ability to see in dim light or at night.
There’s another way to help people and that’s by investing in them. Krzanich said Intel is committing $300 million over the next five years to a Diversity in Technology Initiative.
Last year he talked about conflict minerals, but this year he emphasized inclusion.
“It’s not enough to say we value diversity and then have our workforce not reflect the diversity,” he said.
Krzanich said the company has set a goal to reach full representation in every area of its workforce by 2020.
“What that means is to significantly improve our hiring of women and minorities,” he said. “We’re going to tie our leaders’ pay to our progress in this. This is going to be difficult to achieve, which is why we’re making a significant investment to support diversity. Over the next five years we will invest $300 million. This isn’t just good business, this is the right thing to do.”
After leaving the stage, Krzanich was photographed talking with the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr., one of America’s foremost civil rights, religious and political figures for the past forty years.
But before leaving the stage, Krzanich ended by playing a video interview of Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel known for Moore’s Law, which observes that the number of transistors on a chip nearly doubles roughly every 18 months.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law. It is often considered the engine that has driven technology innovation for decades.
The video ended with a call to action for everyone to keep extending Moore’s Law.
“Remember, anything that has been done can be outdone,” he said.
Keynote photos by Walden Kirsch.