Button-sized Intel Curie module for wearable solutions unveiled
Diversity in Technology initiative includes a US$300mil investment
AT the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, Intel Corporation announced a number of technology advancements and initiatives which it said were aimed at accelerating computing into the “next dimension.”
The announcements include the Intel Curie module, a button-sized hardware product for wearable solutions; and new applications for Intel RealSense cameras spanning robots, flying multi-copter drones and 3D immersive experiences.
It also announced a new Diversity in Technology initiative, which includes a US$300-million investment to encourage more diversity at Intel and within the technology industry at large, the company said in a statement.
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“The rise of new personal computing experiences, intelligent and connected devices, and the wearable revolution are redefining the relationship between consumers and technology,” said its chief executive officer Brian Krzanich.
“Our goal with Intel technology is to help solve real problems and enable experiences that are truly desired by people and businesses.
“In order to do this, we must also do more to lead the growth of diversity and inclusion within the technology industry. Women and under-represented minorities will continue to play a greater role as consumers, influencers, creators and leaders,” he added.
Krzanich also unveiled a wearable device collaboration with Oakley, a leading product design and sport performance eyewear brand; a 3D collaboration with Hewlett-Packard; and highlighted True Key, a new cross-platform application by Intel Security that uses personal factors like the face, device or fingerprint to make logging in easier and safer.
The wearable revolution
The growth of wearable technology is creating a new playing field for innovation, Intel said.
Krzanich disclosed plans for the Intel Curie module (pic above), a tiny hardware product based on the company’s first purpose-built system-on-chip (SoC) for wearable devices.
The module is scheduled to ship in the second half of this year and includes the Intel Quark SE SoC, Bluetooth low-energy radio, sensors and battery charging.
Intel said it has been actively pursuing the wearable technology segment, and since Krzanich revealed several projects at CES last year, has announced multiple products and initiatives with different fashion, fitness and lifestyle brands.
These efforts include Basis Peak, Fossil Group, Luxottica Group, MICA and Opening Ceremony, SMS Audio, and the Intel ‘Make it Wearable’ challenge.
At CES, Intel and Oakley announced a strategic wearables collaboration. Oakley is the first Luxottica Group brand that Intel is working with to fuse premium, luxury and sports eyewear with smart technology.
Diversity in technology
Krzanich, who acknowledged a recent confluence of events related to women and under-represented minorities, announced the Diversity in Technology initiative.
To support this initiative, Intel has set a new hiring and retention goal to achieve full representation of women and under-represented minorities at the company by 2020.
Full representation means Intel’s US workforce will be more representative of the talent available in America, including more balanced representation in senior leadership positions, the company said.
Intel also plans to invest US$300 million to help build a pipeline of female and under-represented engineers and computer scientists; to actively support hiring and retaining more women and under-represented minorities; and to fund programmes to support more positive representation within the technology and gaming industries.
“We’re calling on our industry to again make the seemingly impossible possible by making a commitment to real change and clarity in our goals,” said Krzanich.
“Without a workforce that more closely mirrors the population, we are missing opportunities, including not understanding and designing for our own customers,” he added.
Intel plans to engage with several partners in the industry to support, enhance or create new programmes for this initiative, including the International Game Developers Association, the E-Sports League, the National Centre for Women in Technology, the CyberSmile Foundation, the Feminist Frequency, and Rainbow PUSH.
The company also plans to deepen its engagement with primary education programmes focused on underserved areas and expanding its collaborations with computer science and engineering programmes at higher education institutions, including minority-serving institutions.
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