Intel made a smattering of announcements at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday. Aside from the never-ending march toward thinner, faster and lighter computers, here are five main things to expect from the company throughout the rest of the year.
Expect Cheap Touching (and Lots of It)
Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel, claims that touchscreen Ultrabooks will get down to a starting price of around $599 by the end of the year. What’s more, Intel is making it a requirement that any Ultrabook using one of the company’s upcoming fourth-generation Core processors must have a touchscreen. Basically, if you buy an Ultrabook sometime later in the year, it’ll have a touchscreen.
Expect to Be Able to Leave Your Charger at Home
Intel’s Ultrabook reference design that it’s showing off to hardware partners sports a 13-hour battery life with a screen that pops away from the keyboard to become a 1.9-pound, 0.40-inch tablet with 10 hours of battery life. Skaugen says this jump represents the largest increase in battery life in the company’s history. Hardware similar to this reference design should cost between $799 and $899 when it launches later this year.
Expect to Finally Have a Decent Password
By the end of the year, Intel-based systems will utilize facial recognition and your computer’s webcam so you don’t have to rely on typed passwords. The company plots up to seven unique points on your face and analyzes muscle movements to prevent someone from using a photo or video of you to unlock your machine. For an added layer of protection, this facial recognition can also be combined with the unique sound of your voice.
Expect to Do Less Mousing
Your overworked mouse might finally get a little bit of rest this year. Intel-based systems will be able to use eye-tracking, voice-recognition and advanced hand recognition sensitive enough to sense your individual fingers. Depending on the situation, you may find yourself using any or all of these tricks to control your computer instead of using your mouse.
The above demo video shows a digital version of Where’s Waldo? being played using eye-tracking technology to find Waldo simply by looking at each page, and a hand gesture-controlled version of Portal 2. Such features will initially be available via an optional camera peripheral before being integrated directly into Ultrabooks and all-in-one machines.
Expect to Turn Your Connected Devices into Little TVs (If You’re a Comcast Customer)
Later this year, Comcast will roll out an Intel-powered home gateway box that’ll do away with the need for individual cable boxes. You’ll be able to watch live TV and video on demand from Intel-based Windows 8 devices. Should you find every TV in the house being watched, you’ll be able to use a computer or tablet as extra TV sets, for instance.