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  1. Developing for a world where real and virtual merge

Developing for a world where real and virtual merge

Intel expands developer opportunities as computing expands across all areas of peoples’ lives

By: | Published: August 31, 2015 12:12 AM

If what silicon giant Intel showcased at its developer conference in San Francisco is any indicator, then our future is going to be a hard-to-separate mix of the real and the virtual. “Never before have we seen such diversity in opportunity for developers to bring more disruptive products to the market,” is how Intel CEO Brian Krzanich referred to the impact of this new intersection while delivering his keynote at the Intel Developer Conference in San Francisco.

There was a lot of this new world on show at the keynote itself, from robotic spiders that danced to the gestures of Krzanich to the first glimpse of Google’s Project Tango smartphones powered by Intel RealSense technology and a virtual butler called Relay that could make its way across hotel alleyways using the same technology.
During the keynote, the Relay robotic butler came on stage to handover over a bottle of soft drink to the CEO.

“Robots have always been able to see, but RealSense is now giving them a 3D map of the world to navigate with,” Krzzanich put things in perspective. While applications of this technology will only grow, there was a good sense of it at show during IDF. The longest queues were at the stalls where the technology was being plugged to 3D printers to create three-dimensional selfies of participants. But the technology is also going to make its way into everything from gaming rigs to smartphones in the coming months.

In fact, Krzanich did show a glimpse of the new Google Project Tango phone which will be powered by Intel’s RealSense technology. The phone could 3D map a room in under a minute, underlining the kind of uses new age smartphones will have. The Intel RealSense SDK featuring Google’s Project Tango, which can now handle indoor navigation, virtual reality and 3-D scanning, will be released to select Android developers by the end of this year.

Firstly, it is banking on ‘sensification of compute’ where sight, sound and touch become integral to everything, but in a more natural, more human, kind of way. Thanks to technologies like Intel Smart Sound, Cortana on Windows 10 will wake up even if the PC is powered down and RealSense’s ability to bring the power of human sight to a computing device will mean that the Relay Robot from Savioke will be able to find its way around a hotel alleyway without bumping into guests.

Secondly, smart and connected would mean everything has the ability to bank upon a larger repository of knowledge. For instance, Intel showcased the Memomi memory mirror which is already set up in a handful of retail outlets in the US telling customers how they would look in an apparel they have not yet tried.

Then Intel believes everything will end up being an extension of you, but beyond what we would imagine a regular wearable would be. So even as Intel Curie powered wearables will start infiltrating the ever growing segment in the coming quarters, there will be unique new use cases like the BMX Bike with the module embedded telling a computer which tricks it is performing. “Imagine how sports will change when it is digitised,” says Krzanich.

Most of technologies, as Krzanich reiterated, were being demoed real time or already had limited rollouts in some markets. For a change we were not speaking about technologies that were years away, but stuff on which the developers could start working right away using the SDKs that were already on offer. Yes, there has never been a better time to be a developer.

(The correspondent was in San Francisco on an invitation by Intel)

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