At the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show, Intel Corporation described a new era of computing experience that is underway, as the first wave of Ultrabook devices come to market. Leading the event were Mooly Eden, Intel vice president and general manager, PC Client Group, and Kevin Sellers, vice president, Sales and Marketing Group and director, Advertising and Digital Marketing.
The Ultrabook journey begins on May 31 on Computex 2011. Intel’s vision for the Ultrabook is to deliver a no-compromise, complete, satisfying and secure computing experience in one device. Shaped by extensive research, Intel defined the Ultrabook by starting with what people want most out of their computers. In the few short months since the category was created, it is already seeing early momentum as the first wave of Ultrabook systems started to come to market last October.
More than 75 Ultrabook designs are in the pipeline for 2012 and will come in a variety of screen sizes (including 14- and 15-inch), shapes and styles. The second phase of Ultrabook devices will be powered by the upcoming 3rd generation Intel Core processor family, initially available in systems starting in the spring and with increasing availability through the year.
Eden demonstrated several Ultrabook experiences and no-compromise usages that take advantage of the computing performance of the Ultrabook. Security is increasingly becoming more important to consumers who want to protect their data and personal assets. Eden demonstrated a securer, “peace of mind” experience offered by the early results of a strategic collaboration between Intel and MasterCard. This collaboration was announced last year to provide more options for a safer and simpler check-out process for online merchants and MasterCard cardholders using Ultrabook devices.
Continued innovation from the industry is required to deliver the sleek, beautiful Ultrabook designs that measure less than just 18 millimeters in thickness. Components from display panels, battery technology and storage solutions to motherboard and cooling technologies all have to be redesigned to fit into the slim designs. Last year, Intel announced a $300-million Ultrabook Fund to fuel development of these and other innovations, and help bring them to market in high volume and at mainstream price points.
As the Ultrabook continues to evolve, touch-based experiences are added. In a recently completed Intel research study on the use of touch-enabled applications on an Ultrabook, users found the use of touch on a clamshell design, and the seamless transition between the use of touch applications and the keyboard to be compelling and natural. Eden said the addition of the touch experience will also fuel innovation in the design and shape of future Ultrabook systems, from clamshells and hybrids, to convertibles and other styles likely not yet imagined. An innovative concept system developed by Intel includes a clear panel at the base of the keyboard that serves as a touch pad when open in clamshell mode, but transforms into a touch-enabled display when closed for quick use on-the-go.
Moreover, Intel plans to add capabilities that will let people engage naturally and intuitively with an Ultrabook. Eden announced a strategic relationship between Intel and Nuance Communications, Inc., a leading provider of voice and language solutions, to develop an intuitive, multi-language, natural voice experience for these devices.
The experience will be based on Nuance’s Dragon voice recognition technology that will be optimized for Intel architecture and is expected to be available this year.
Using this technology, people will be able to control their Ultrabook just by using their voice, from quickly and easily launching applications, playing media, checking and updating social media sites or controlling their email and calendar.
Intel is also working on the next generation of computing interaction: intuitive and immersive, short-range gesture recognition. Eden gave a sneak peek of some of the progress made thus far using a slingshot game controlled by the user’s natural gestures.