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Intel powers chips with red wine

by on15 September 2013

Shows chip powered cloth

At the last day of Intel IDF 2013 keynote Dr. Genevive Bell, Intel fellow inter research labs, talked a about different and rather unusual forms of computing.

The keynote that included wearable electronic and chip powered by wine is something that Intel research is working on. Vine is not a fancy codename, it is the substance that gets people drunk and makes romantic dinners so great.

They showed a Fraunhofer institute (people who invented the MP3 codec ed.) bike T-shirt that has LEDs in it and makes you more visible to drivers. It allows the shirt to go into Las Vegas mode and flashes so you don’t get hit by a drunk driver, driving home from one of those dinners. It apparently uses some prototype chip that has very low power and batteries of unknown size, but it didn’t seem to make the shirt heavier.

The other thing that Intel showed was a glass of red wine that acted as a battery source for an actual chip, something probably much smaller than Quark. Intel is working on chips with power consumtion in the milliwatt range. Some of these chips at some point could be so low power so we would be able to power them with ambient light or our body heat.

The issue is that whatever Intel showed is still in prototype phase, but it shows some things to come. Ubiqutos computing is now known as the Internet of things and Intel wants a big chunk of this low margin market that is all about high volumes.

Bell mentioned that she as an anthropologist is looking into new way of communication. She also mentioned that 4.4 billion people have 6.3 billion mobile subscription and that 3.7 million mobile devices are sold every day, 154.000 every hour or 43 every second.

Intel is making an effort to prove to investors that there is more than just a computer market for it, trying to prove that it can swim in this low margin Internet of Things space, or “let’s put a chip in just about anything” market.

Not all things that can be make should be made, a wise man once said, but we will see how the future plays out with shirts that can cool you down, a fridge that emails you when you out of milk (still almost impossible to find in normal price market ed.)

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