More sights, sounds, and wearables from the Intel Developer Forum 2014

More sights, sounds, and wearables from the Intel Developer Forum 2014
The big theme for Intel’s developer conference this year was wearables. With the work being done to be a major player in that area, Intel continued to cater to the majority of its services which are more commercial, and less mobile, in nature.

To that end, the Intel Developer Forum is its own trade-show as well, with hundreds of exhibits from conglomerates and niche players alike, showing off everything from enterprise-grade solutions new better performing Firewire (a standard developed by Apple) cables.

There was also some more consumer-relatable technology on display, such as Intel showing off how well some equipment would continue to perform when the processors were heavily loaded while still handling new user inputs, but none of that was mobile related. There were also workshops to developers to literally build physical platforms to demo Intel’s Edison and Galileo chipsets.


The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), of which Intel sits on the board of the organization, was on-hand. This specification for wireless charging is making inroads with industrial partners who would then offer consumer-grade products that use the technology. A4WP is able to provide power through much thicker platforms, and can charge multiple devices on varying voltages at the same time.

For example, when you decide to redecorate your kitchen, and you are looking over your choices for what types of countertops to buy, there may be products from companies like DuPont which will have large portions of the surface area enabled with A4WP. That means in your new kitchen, you could place a tablet on the counter while you are browsing through a recipe, the counter would then charge your tablet. At the same time, someone comes home from work, places their phone on the counter and it beings to recharge at the same time.

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The display was basic, but showed how a very thin power-plate was providing power to a sheet of LED lights through 2-inches of material. That is something Qi and PMA cannot do.

In addition to that display, A4WP also showed off a concept of a “charging bowl,” an ornament that would charge your gadgets. It is the type of décor that one might place on a hall-table next to the front door.


Wearables had their own area on display, with MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory), designed by Opening Ceremony, at the center of the attraction. MICA is currently in testing, but is meant to be stylish for that discriminating customer that does not want a squared-off piece of plastic, or a something that looks like a watch, on their wrist.

As such, the MICA will be marketed to the well-to-do, with a price that will likely be in the several-hundred dollar range. Stewards of the display were noting prices starting at “under $1,000” if that is any indication, and since MICA will be adorned with semi-precious gems, the target audience is fairly narrow. MICA will be available in time for the holiday shopping season.


One area that was glaringly absent from just about everything, from the Keynote speech to the forums, was smartphones. Intel did throw a few barbs at its mobile rival, Qualcomm, but there was nothing laid out in terms of strategy for chipmaker to build share in that space.

The lack of any announcement does not mean the company is throwing in the hat, but the focus on wearables, tablets, and 2-in-1s indicates that Intel is getting behind the product lines that have a lot of momentum and room for growth. Intel has strength in products like 2-in-1s because they utilize the breadth of its product line, tablets like Dell’s new Venue 8 7000 Series provide a platform for new technology like RealSense, and wearable data transactions are forecast to eclipse smartphones by the year 2020.

By maintaining focus in those areas, and not trying to rely so heavily on an increasingly saturated smartphone market (for developed economies), Intel will gain a foothold in other ways, basically assuring we will see a lot of mobile-related products with “Intel inside.”

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