Intel backs ultra-light laptops with new age controls


US chip giant Intel heralded a coming wave of affordable high-powered, thin laptops that could double as Tablet computers and be controlled by gestures or spoken commands.

Intel vice-president Mooly Eden showed off coming Ultrabooks by Lenovo, Acer, Asus, Samsung, Toshiba, LG and Hewlett Packard as well as a curiously innovative prototype Nikiski laptop powered by yet-to-be-released Windows 8 operating system.

The Nikiski had a transparent touchpad panel below a standard keyboard. When closed the panel provided a window to the laptop screen and allowed it to be controlled with touches or swipes in a Tablet style.

“We started six months ago to deliver Ultrabooks and are ramping as we speak,” Eden told reporters packed into a ballroom for a press conference on the eve of the official opening of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

“We would like average people to be able to enjoy the Ultrabook experience, because you know the first ones were US$999 (RM3,000) or more,” he continued in a veiled reference to Apple’s popular MacBook Air line.

“Our target is to pull the price down and make Ultrabooks mainstream.”

About 50 ultrabooks were expected to debut at CES in one of the defining trends of this year’s show.

Mooly said the power of computer chips has finally enabled laptop makers to deliver sleek and slim, yet powerful, ultrabooks with the potential to be controlled by gestures or voice and to eventually serve as spoken language interpreters.

Intel revealed collaboration with Nuance Communications to bring voice controls to Ultrabooks. “Now that we have relationships with devices like Ultrabooks, why not talk to them?” Nuance marketing officer Peter Mahoney said while joining Mooly on stage.

“You speak and it will be answered,” he added. “The more you use it; it will learn your accent and better understand you.”

Nuance voice recognition to be embedded in Intel-powered Ultrabooks this year will recognise nine languages including French, Spanish, Mandarin and English.

Mooly also demonstrated a test model Windows 8 Ultrabook built with sensors to allow it to control on-screen game play by being tilted, then pointed out it was designed so the touchscreen could be folded to face outward Tablet-computer style.

“People today talk about loving their computers,” Mooly said. “There is nothing wrong with loving our computer, if it is a great computer.”

Ultrabooks being powered by Intel chips were also built with embedded security features and could read data from NFC (near-field-communication) chips built into credit cards

Mooly said components from screens to batteries need to be redesigned to give Ultrabooks “sexy” slim bodies along with beautiful viewing experiences and enduring power supplies.

Mooly showed off research projects already incorporating gesture controls into concept Ultrabooks.

“This is going to be a totally new world of gesture recognition,” Mooly predicted. More than 75 Intel-based ultrabooks, many of them “hybrids” that can double as Tablet computers are in design.

Intel planned an April kick-off of its biggest advertising campaign in nearly a decade to spur demand for Ultrabooks. — AFP/Relaxnews 2012

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In Tech News

Apple faces EU lawsuits over iPhones that wear out too quickly
Covid-19: Sabah police drone unit helps monitor SOP compliance
UK watchdog studies 'range anxiety' in electric vehicle charging
Sources: China’s Ant considers Paytm stake sale amid tensions with India
Drones plant trees from the sky after US wildfires
Report: North Korean hackers targeted companies working on coronavirus vaccine
Salesforce to buy Slack in US$27.7bil software megadeal
Droning the drove: Israeli cow-herders turn to flying tech
Lab developing device to help Earth dodge asteroids
To avoid tech’s antitrust troubles, India tries a hard 30% cap

Stories You'll Enjoy