Friday, September 17, 2010

The Future of Context-Aware Computing

Justin Rattner, Intel VP and Chief Technology Office described the future of context-sensitive computing (devices that anticipate needs and desire and try to fulfill them), during a keynote at the Intel Developer Forum.
Rattner devoted most of his keynote to explaining and demonstrating how Intel is researching and pursuing making that mainstream intention a reality. These included:
• Tim Jarrell, the Vice President and Publisher of Fodor's Travel, arrived onstage to demonstrate a new Fodor's app (created in collaboration with Intel) that can recommend restaurants based on what the user likes and eats, and the user's location in the city. When used in "Wander" mode, the app helps center the user by providing him information about surrounding landmarks. (A very similar technology, named Augmented Reality, was demonstrated at the Intel Labs "Zero Day" IDF event on Sunday.) The app is not available yet, but Fodor's is continuing development on it.
• Intel Research Scientist Lama Nachman demonstrated the use of "shimmer sensors," wearable sensors that measure stride time and swing time and showed charts that measured Rattner's movements onstage during his speech (he had been wearing them on his ankles). This technology was intended to help measure the gait of elderly people who had difficulty walking.
• A remote control that "enhances the smart TV experience" by recognizing who's holding a remote control and adjusting the viewing experience accordingly.
• A sense system, roughly the size of a large cell phone, that could animate avatars to let you know a person's current activity or state of activities. One example was how someone sitting and drinking coffee might receive a phone call and leave the coffee shop, by showing how the device would animate a troll-like creature at first sitting and then walking while talking on a cell phone.

Read the full PCMAG article titled, Rattner Describes the Future of Context-Aware Computing.

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