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Intel boss ushers in "wearable revolution" at CES

Intel boss ushers in "wearable revolution" at CES

Pleges US$300 million to support women and under-represented minorities in the workforce

Intel chief executive, Brian Krzanich.

Intel chief executive, Brian Krzanich.

Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich is betting on a "wearable revolution" and a diverse workforce as key pillars in his vision for the future of the company.

Krzanich outlined his strategy during a keynote address at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show.

The keynote also included a raft of announcements around wearables, security and plans for a $300 million investment to support women and minorities at Intel.

The announcements include the Intel Curie module, a button-sized hardware product for wearable solutions, new applications for Intel RealSense cameras spanning robots, flying multi-copter drones and 3-D immersive experiences.

Krzanich said the rise of new personal computing experiences, intelligent and connected devices, and the wearable revolution were redefining the relationship between consumers and technology.

“Our goal with Intel technology is to help solve real problems and enable experiences that are truly desired by people and businesses," he said.

"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.”

The new Diversity in Technology initiative includes a $300 million investment to encourage more diversity at Intel and within the technology industry at large.

To support this initiative, the company has set a new hiring and retention goal to mirror, where possible, the face of America in its workforce by achieving full representation of women and under-represented minorities at Intel by 2020.

According to a company statement, full representation means Intel’s workforce will be more representative of the talent available in the United States, including more balanced representation in senior leadership positions.

Intel also plans 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 programs to support more positive representation within the technology and gaming industries.

Krzanich also unveiled a wearable device collaboration with Oakley, a 3-D collaboration with HP, 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.

He also disclosed plans for the Intel Curie module1, 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 has been pursuing the wearable technology segment.

Since Krzanich revealed several projects at last year's CES, the company 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 and SMS Audio.

Oakley is the first Luxottica Group brand that Intel is working with to fuse premium, luxury and sports eyewear with smart technology.

Krzanich was joined on stage by Oakley chief executive, Colin Baden, who said the companies were working on an intelligent product, available later this year, designed to enhance athletes’ performance.

Krzanich also highlighted Nixie, the 2014 “Make it Wearable” challenge winner and the first wearable camera that can fly.

Nixie rests on your wrist like a bracelet, then unfolds and takes flight on cue to take a shot of you in the moment.

New wireless charging collaborations including Hilton, Jaguar Land Rover, San Francisco International Airport* and Marriott were also revealed.

Krzanich highlighted a number of areas where the rise of connected computing intelligence was helping to reshape many facets of people’s daily lives.

He showcased practical, real-world examples for robots and multi-copter drones and said that Intel RealSense cameras could provide intuitive, sight-based collision avoidance capabilities for solving complex problems.

For example, Ascending Technologies is targeting to use Intel RealSense cameras to develop intelligent and safer multi-copter drones, and iRobot is collaborating with Intel to explore this technology for its intelligent robotic platforms.

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Tags Luxottica Groupcolin badenSMS AudioOakleyIntel chief executive Brian KrzanichMICA and Opening CeremonyIntel Curie module1Fossil GroupWearablesBasis PeakIntel Quark SE SoC

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