Intel’s Oculus robots play smartphone games such as the popular “Cut the Rope” title to test the accuracy of touchscreens on mobile devices. The software then actually scores screens following the tests, attributing a rating to them based on data taken from Intel’s cognitive psychology experiments conducted on hundreds of people who use touchscreen devices, MIT Technology Review writes. To score displays, in addition to the Oculus, a Hollywood-grade Red camera is used to capture video at 300 frames per second in resolution higher than HD – the camera records everything the robot does, and the data can be used to determine the accuracy and responsiveness of displays under certain test parameters. More →
Intel’s potentially revolutionary TV service never saw the light of day, but it is becoming quickly apparent that there are plenty of interested parties that might want to give Intel Media another shot. Bloomberg reports that Liberty Global, the European cable operator which owns Virgin Media, is the latest company in talks to acquire Intel’s Web-based TV service. Bloomberg’s sources did not give much concrete information on the negotiations, even stating that the deal could easily fall apart before any agreements are reached. This report comes just two weeks after AllThingsD was informed that Verizon had also begun a conversation with Intel. Each new suitor brings Intel’s original vision for a revolutionary TV service one step closer to reality, although the final product will likely look notably different in the hands of another company.
Intel might have given up on TV, but the company is looking to take the smartphone world by storm with the introduction of its first 2G, 3G and 4G LTE data modem, the Intel XMM 7160. The new modem will support 15 LTE bands simultaneously to allow for global LTE roaming, and is also capable of voice-over LTE (VoLTE). The modem has been in testing for quite a while but will be commercially available for the first time in the 4G version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, which has already started shipping in Asia and Europe. Intel also announced new PCIe M.2 LTE modules to allow for data connectivity in other devices, such as tablets and ultrabooks. These modules should begin shipping next year.
It’s bad news for TV viewers interested in alternative services as Intel has apparently decided to give up on its exciting aspirations for a subscription TV service. AllThingsD reports that Intel is currently in talks with Verizon to “hand over control of Intel Media, the unit that has been trying to build a Web-based subscription TV service.” Rumors surrounding the service have been circulating for months, but Intel never public unveiled the set-top box that would run its service, nor did the company set a date for its release. More →
Intel is about to make its big push into the world of tablet processors. Per ZDNet, Intel expects that we’ll start seeing very cheap new devices powered by its Haswell processors release in time for the holidays this year. How cheap are we talking about? Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said during a conference call this week that he expects Haswell processors will be used in $99 tablets, $299 notebooks and $349 tablet-notebook hybrids. Intel earlier this fall started shipping its Haswell tablet processors that the company says will deliver up to 50% better battery life depending on usage. The new processors are particularly important for tablets running Windows 8 since they need to have strong batteries to run a full PC operating system on a light and thin form factor.
Chip makers are not fans of the new 64-bit A7 processor that powers Apple’s flagship iPhone 5s. First Qualcomm’s chief marketing officer Anand Chandrasekher took a swing at Apple and called the A7 a “marketing gimmick,” adding that the chipset’s new 64-bit architecture offered no benefits to users. Qualcomm quickly realized that insulting a key partner probably isn’t the best idea, however, and the company retracted Chandrasekher’s statement. Now another one of Apple’s partners has shared some thoughts on the company’s new A7 chip, and once again the comments weren’t very complimentary. More →
Intel seems determined to become a company that disrupts markets rather than a company whose markets get disrupted by others. Quartz reports that Intel has a very ambitious plan to flood the market with $100 tablets this holiday season in an effort to make tablets more affordable to consumers in emerging markets. Quartz speculates that the upcoming $100 Intel tablets will be 7-inch models that have middling specs but will still be “good enough” for most consumers who don’t use tablets for much more than basic web browsing. The key will be making sure these tablets deliver a strong user experience for the limited number of applications they’re designed to run — as Quartz notes, there are plenty of $100 Android tablets made by no-name manufacturers in the world but most of them deliver demonstrably poor experiences for users.
The next generation of tablets is going to blow earlier generations away in terms of battery life. IDG News, per CITE World, reports that Intel has started shipping its Haswell tablet processors that the company says will deliver up to 50% better battery life depending on usage. The new processors are particularly important for tablets running Windows 8 since they need to have strong batteries to run a full PC operating system on a light and thin form factor. IDG News says that Intel’s Core i3-4012Y processor “draws as little as 4.5 watts in specific tablet or mobile usage scenarios,” so the new Haswell processors could really be game-changers for tablets going forward.
What if TV aired on your schedule, all day, every day? This is the reality Intel will reportedly try to create with its upcoming pay TV service. Add-ons like on-demand content and local DVR services from current pay TV providers are a nice convenience, but Intel will reportedly look to take things to the next level by providing a cloud-based DVR service that records everything, all the time. According to The Wall Street Journal, the killer feature of Intel’s forthcoming pay TV service will “include a server farm to record every piece of programming aired—local, national and international—and store it for at least three days in the ‘cloud.’ ” The paper noted that by using Intel’s set-top box, TV subscribers will not have to manually schedule recordings or even own a DVR. According to an earlier report, Intel’s service will also utilize a video camera and other technology to monitor people’s viewing habits and serve targeted advertisements.
There are numerous areas one might examine when looking for data to support the advent of the post-PC era. Declining PC sales, exploding tablet sales and astronomical smartphone sales are examples, but there are also some interesting less treaded ways to illustrate the rise of mobile computing. Case in point: in a recent report, Bloomberg took a quick look at the market values of Intel and ARM since Apple first debuted the iPhone. Intel rose to power on the back of the PC boom and we all know it failed to pivot when smartphones and tablets based on ARM chips began taking over, but Bloomberg’s observation really puts things in perspective. Since Apple’s first iPhone was released, Intel’s market cap has fallen 27% from $155.7 billion to $114 billion. During the same period of time, ARM’s market value has ballooned nearly 1,000% from $1.7 billion to $18.5 billion as of Thursday’s close.
Intel is hard at work on efforts that it hopes will shake up the pay-TV market and potentially kill cable as we know it today, and those efforts recently took a big step toward become a reality, according to a new report. Santa Clara-based Intel has been confirmed to be working on its own set-top box and associated television service that could potentially change the way viewers consume TV. The company is also looking to shake up TV advertising, and is willing to pay as much as 75% more for content than traditional cable providers because its box will utilize a built-in camera to collect data on viewers’ habits that it will then use to serve targeted ads. Now, according to a new report, Intel’s set-top box and service are being tested by thousands of Intel employees in three different markets. More →
A new report suggests that Intel is preparing to release performance oriented Haswell processors for desktop computers in the second half of 2014. According to a leak from VR-Zone, the company’s fourth-generation Core processors will be available in 6-core and 8-core variants with up to 20MB of L3 cache. The Haswell-E enthusiast grade platform is expected to perform up to 50% better than high-end Ivy Bridge processors. Intel is also expected to introduce new Wellsburg motherboard chipsets that are capable of supporting DDR4 RAM clocked up to 2,133 MHz right out of the box. Although these high-end chips aren’t expected to arrive until late 2014, Haswell processors are available now in a variety of laptops, including the new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air.
Intel’s plan to shake up the pay-TV industry looks like it will come at a heavy price. Reuters reports that Intel is willing to pay 75% more than cable company rates for the rights to broadcast live television over the Internet on its upcoming set-top box. Reuters‘ sources say that despite offering such a huge premium, Intel has yet to actually close out deals with any media companies for the rights to stream content. What’s more, Intel has apparently tried to sweeten the deal for broadcasters by suggesting that its set-top box will make it impossible for viewers to skip through commercials the first time they watch a program. We still don’t have any firm details on when Intel’s set-top box and associated service will come out or what they will cost, although the company has said that it will include a Kinect-like sensor designed to collect data for advertisers on users’ viewing habits.