Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has outlined a range of products, initiatives and strategic relationships aimed at accelerating innovation across a range of mobile and wearable devices as well as individual inventors' own connected creations. He made the announcements during the pre-show keynote for the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to be held here this week.
Intel's CEO discussed how Intel is addressing two critical issues casting shadows over the consumer electronics industry: data and device security and conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He said Intel had achieved a critical milestone and the minerals used in microprocessor silicon and packages manufactured in Intel's factories are conflict-free as concluded by third-party audits or direct validation by Intel's supply chain organization.
Krzanich said Intel is actively pursuing a range of products and initiatives, with the goal of accelerating wearable device innovation. Intel's approach to this next evolution in computing is to imagine and create reference design devices and platforms ready for use by customers in developing wearable products, he said.
Intel's CEO highlighted a number of wearable reference devices, including smart earbuds that provide biometric and fitness capabilities, a smart headset that is always ready to engage and can integrate with existing personal assistant technologies to make the consumer experience more intuitive, and a smart wireless charging bowl.
The Intel CEO also announced collaborations with Barneys New York, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Opening Ceremony to explore and bring to market new smart wearable technologies, and to increase dialogue and cooperation between the fashion and technology industries. He also kicked off the Intel Make it Wearable challenge, a global effort aimed at accelerating creativity and innovation with technology.
In addition to developing reference devices for wearable technology, Intel will offer a number of accessible, low-cost entry platforms. These are aimed at helping lower entry barriers for individuals and small companies to create innovative Internet-connected wearables or other small form factor devices.
Underscoring this point, Krzanich announced Intel Edison, a new Intel Quark technology-based computer housed in an SD card form factor with built-in wireless capabilities and support for multiple operating systems. From prototype to production, Intel Edison will enable rapid innovation and product development by a range of inventors, entrepreneurs and consumer product designers when available this summer.
Krzanich also unveiled the Intel Security brand, which will identify Intel products and services in the security segment, and disclosed plans to transition McAfee products to the Intel Security brand while retaining the familiar red shield.
Krzanich announced that Intel plans to offer elements of McAfee's security solutions for mobile devices for free. These data and device protection solutions help guard today's most popular mobile devices, including Apple iPhone, Apple iPad and Android devices. More details will be announced in the coming months.
As corporate bring-your-own-device programs have grown in popularity, many firms have prohibited Android-based devices that were not compatible with their companies' security requirements. Intel Security this year will offer Intel Device Protection technology, which will help Intel-based Android mobile devices meet most security standards for use at home and work.
Intel Edison computing solution