The vast power of technology to deliver new and amazing experiences throughout daily life was the driving force behind Intel’s announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.
From the digitisation of sports, to advances in health and wellness, to unleashing human creativity through music, art, robotics and invention, the company announced a number of collaborations, products and innovative technologies that “make the amazing possible”.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced a series of collaborations with leading industry brandsthat will use technology and data analytics to benefit people’s overall health, fitness and athletic performance. Intel announced plans to work with ESPN and Red Bull Media House, New Balance and Oakley.
Krzanich also announced a multi-year partnership with The Recording Academy as part of its official “Next Generation of GRAMMY Moments” to use technological innovation for people to see and engage in the evolution of technology in music. The first artist to collaborate with Intel on the programme will be six-time GRAMMY-winning artist Lady Gaga.
These collaborations underscore the three trends that Krzanich said are shaping the future: the smart and connected world, technologies gaining human-like senses, and computing becoming ultra-personal.
“There is a rapidly growing role for technology that is at once transformative, unprecedented and accessible,” said Krzanich. “With people choosing experiences over products more than ever before, Intel technology is a catalyst to making amazing new experiences possible, and ultimately improving the world in which we live.”
He also stressed that Intel remains focused on addressing big societal challenges facing the technology industry and foreshadowed plans for a bold, new anti-online harassment effort with Vox Media, Re/code and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation to promote diversity and inclusion. And he confirmed that Intel is moving beyond just microprocessors to achieve its goal of validating its broader product base as “conflict-free” in 2016.
“When Intel started its work to address conflict minerals and gaps in diversity and inclusion, we were told by many people that our goals were unrealistic and would be impossible to achieve,” said Krzanich. “Our collective efforts show that we can influence entirely new and different ways of doing business that also improve the human experience.”
Below are more details from announcements featured during the Intel keynote at CES 2016, as supplied by Intel:
Digitising the Sports Experience:
Intel announced a collaboration with ESPN to showcase the latest technology set to add new levels of data-powered insights to the feats of athleticism at X Games Aspen 2016. The tiny, low power Intel Curie module will be integrated into the Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle and Men’s Snowboard Big Air competitions to provide real-time data on athlete performance such as in-air rotations, jump height, jump distance, speed, and force on landing. This access to new data will provide athletes with greater insights into their performance, provide additional metrics for on-air analysts, and change the fan experience both at home and in the stands. The competitions will be televised on ESPN and ABC.
Intel and Red Bull Media House announced a global partnership that will extend into multiple genres and platforms. Red Bull Media House CTO Andreas Gall joined Krzanich on stage to demonstrate how athletes and spectators can get information about the performance instantly with the help of Intel Curie technology, with the promise of more announcements to come in 2016 and beyond.
Intel is working with Replay Technologies to deliver completely new viewing experiences for sports fans on broadcast, in the stadium, and in the home. Using Replay’s freeD technology optimised for Intel platforms, sports fans will be able to re-watch key moments of sporting events from nearly every conceivable angle and share a custom created clip with the world. FreeD takes advantage of 6th Generation Intel Core processors and Intel server technology that has been optimised to deliver this immersive entertainment experience.
Changing the Landscape of Health and Wellness:
Intel and New Balance announced a strategic collaboration to develop wearable technologies that connect athletes with technology to improve their athletic performance as part of New Balance’s newly formed Digital Sport division. Krzanich and New Balance CEO, Rob DeMartini, wore running shoes featuring customised 3-D printed midsoles enabled by Intel RealSens technology and disclosed plans to develop a smart sport watch available for the 2016 holiday season.
Oakley and Intel previewed the first look at “Radar Pace” – smart eyewear featuring a voice-activated, real-time coaching system. Oakley is the first Luxottica Group* brand that Intel is working with to fuse premium, luxury and sports eyewear with smart technology. Engineered with Intel Innovation and crafted with Oakley’s high-quality design and materials, the smart eyewear is designed to provide runners, cyclists and workout enthusiasts with in-the-moment feedback and analytics, helping to track progress and improve real-time performance.
Six-time GRAMMY-winning global music icon Lady Gaga announced her first collaboration with Intel, in association with Intel’s announcement of a multiyear partnership with The Recording Academy as part of the official “Next Generation of GRAMMY Moments” programme that will launch during Grammy week in February 2016. Lady Gaga commented: “Intel has enlisted Haus of Gaga to work together on a project that will showcase technology through creativity at the highest level. The partnership culminates in a ground-breaking collaboration that inspires to remind the world of the seed of innovation.” While Lady Gaga will not perform new material as part of the programme, she promises to deliver an experience not to be forgotten.
MGM Television Group* and Digital President Mark Burnett joined Krzanich on stage to provide a sneak peek at the innovators vying to turn their ideas into reality – from improving health monitoring to communicating in new ways to testing the limits of our imagination – in the new competition series, America’s Greatest Makers. Premiering this spring on TBS, America’s Greatest Makers is part of a larger initiative that includes coverage on CNN.com, Bleacher Report and other Turner digital brands. They also launched the Digital Hub at http://www.americasgreatestmakers.com/, which spotlights inventors, new innovations and tech tutorials, as well as unique weekly digital content.
Intel’s leadership to integrate human-like senses into technology continues to gain momentum: In unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Krzanich demonstrated the Yuneec Typhoon H with Intel RealSense technology, which enables collision-avoidance capabilities and will be available 1H 2016. In robotics, Krzanich showcased a Segway personal transporter from Ninebot that can transform into a robot. The open platform uses the new Intel RealSense ZR300 Camera to navigate complex environments and intelligently interact with users and sensors in the home and is powered by an Intel Atom™ processor. Segway plans to make the robot commercially available and will initially introduce a developer kit in the second half of this year.
Improving the Human Experience:
Krzanich highlighted plans for a new anti-online harassment effort with Vox Media, Re/code and Born This Way Foundation. The initiative will be unveiled on 7 January and will help make our smart, connected world a safer, more inclusive place.
Third-party audits and direct validation by Intel’s supply chain organisation will confirm that the company’s broader product base – beyond just microprocessors – is “conflict free.” Maintaining accountability in the supply chain is an ongoing process for Intel.
Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults
An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.
By 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.
These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.
Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.
The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:
- The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
- The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
- The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
- The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
- The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
- The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.
The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been.
“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured. The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.
“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’.
“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves. Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).
“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”
For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.
How load-shedding is killing our cellphone signals
Extensive load-shedding, combined with the theft of cell tower backup batteries and copper wire, is placing a massive strain on mobile network providers.
MTN says the majority of MTN’S sites have been equipped with battery backup systems to ensure there is enough power on site to run the system for several hours when local power goes out and the mains go down.
“With power outages on the rise, these back-up systems become imperative to keeping South Africa connected and MTN has invested heavily in generators and backup batteries to maintain communication for customers, despite the lack of electrical power,” the operator said in a statement today.
However, according to Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive: Corporate Affairs, at MTN SA, “The high frequency of the cycles of load shedding
An additional challenge is that criminals and criminal syndicates are placing networks across the country at risk. Batteries, which can cost R28 000 per battery and upwards, are sought after on black markets – especially in neighbouring countries.
“Although MTN has improved security and is making strides in limiting instances of theft and vandalism with the assistance of the police, the increase in power outages has made this issue even more pressing,” says O’Sullivan.
Ernest Paul, General Manager: Network Operations at SA’s leading network provider MTN, says the brazen theft of batteries is an industry-wide problem and will require a broader initiative driven by communities, the private sector, police and prosecutors to bring it to a halt.
“Apart from the cost of replacing the stolen batteries and upgrading the broken infrastructure, communities suffer as the network degrades without the back-up power. This is due to the fact that any coverage gaps need to be filled. The situation is even more dire with the rolling power cuts expected due to Eskom load shedding.”
Loss of services and network quality can range from a 2-5km radius to 15km on some sites and affect 5,000 to 20,000 people. On hub sites, network coverage to entire suburbs and regions can be lost.
Click here to read more about efforts to combat copper theft.