CES Quickie: Intel Keynote
this quikie written for KoreanZ.com
Craig Barrett, the President and CEO of Intel opened CES on Friday night. The show opened in a jubilant and exciting fashion with the Blue Man Group: a famous trio of US performers with blue-painted faces whose antics have amused hundreds of thousands on stage and in recent Pentium 3 ads. Barrett himself emerged from a quivering mass of jelly, removed from his head by the blue men to the great amusement and delight of the audience. The presentation struggled from there on, however. The presentation tried very much to be “hip” and “cool,” even going so far as bringing Sinbad, the famous US comedian, and several inner-city teenagers on stage, but Barrett just deadpanned his role.
Barrett’s unsurprising vision for Intel, driven home repeatedly and unabashedly during the course of his speech, was that a powerful PC will remain the center of an ever-expanding universe of peripherals. In fact, he went so far as to call just about everything non-PC a “peripheral.” According to Barrett, PDAs are computer peripherals. In this world view, the more peripherals you have, the more you are empowered to do and the more value your computer brings you – he even had a catchphrase for it: PC^x. X, of course, being the number of peripherals you possess.
And devices that have traditionally been independent and analog will be transformed into PC peripherals, in Intel’s view. Ultimately just about everything in the home or office ends up, conceptually, a peripheral in the home. Which is great for Intel, since centrally managing a houseful of devices and applications would certainly take a pretty powerful processor.
To Intel’s credit, however, this model is actually pretty feasible. Once a consumer has bought a top-of-the line PC, it’d be too bad to let that compute power go to waste – leveraging this centralized power to enable simple, low cost devices does allow for a low-cost but rich experience. Intel showed off their simple digital camera, microscope, MP3 player (newly announced at the show: it looked pretty cool with 128Mb of memory!), a chatpad (for instant messaging from the couch) and sound recorder (for kids) as well as RCA’s eBook. These devices can be designed simply even while incorporating advanced features by assuming a connection to a fast PC with advanced software and a rich user interface.
Intel also showcased their support for P2P, even demoing a video filesharing application of their own, called Popster, and discussing new applications that allow a company to exploit unused processing and storage space on its desktops. Such applications are, surprise!, heavily compute intensive.
The show ended with a bang, literally, as the Blue Man Group reappeared and explosively showered the audience with paper rolls.