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CES 2016: Daily life drives Intel’s tech vision 

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.

Unleashing Creativity:

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.

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3D printed room-service? Visit the hotel of tomorrow

To mark its 100th birthday, Hilton predicts the trends that will change travel and hospitality in the next 100 years.

Intergalactic getaways, fast-food nutrient pills, 2-3 hour working days and adaptable, personalised rooms that can transport guests everywhere from jungles to mountain ranges. These are some of the predictions for the next 100 years that the Hilton hotel group has put together in celebration of its 100th anniversary.

In a report supported by expert insight from the fields of sustainability, innovation, design, human relations and nutrition, findings reveal the impact of the growing sophistication of technology and climate change on the hotel industry in the future.

Key predictions for the hotel of the future include:

Personalisation is King

  • Technology will allow every space, fitting and furnishing to continuously update to respond to an individual’s real-time needs – the Lobby will conjure up anything from a tranquil spa to a buzzy bar, giving every guest the perfect, personal welcome
  • From temperature and lighting, to entertainment and beyond, microchips under the skin will enable us to wirelessly control the setting around us based on what we need, whenever we need it

The Human Touch

  • In a world filled with Artificial Intelligence, human contact and the personal touch will be more critical and sought after than ever
  • Technology will free up time for hotel staff to focus on what matters most: helping guests to connect with one another and building memorable moments

‘Sustainable Everything’ – The Role of Responsibility

  • Only businesses that are inherently responsible will survive the next century
  • Sustainability will be baked into everything about a hotel’s design – from weather-proofed domes, to buildings made from ocean-dredged plastic
  • Hotels will act as the Town Hall of any community, managing local resources and contributing to the areas they serve with community-tended insect farms and vertical hydroponic crop gardens

Menu Surprises and Personalisation

  • Our diets will include more plant-based recipes and some surprising sources of protein – Beetle Bolognese, Plankton Pies and Seaweed Green Velvet Cake will be menu staples!
  • Decadent 3D-printed dinners and room service will provide unrivalled plate personalisation
  • Chefs will be provided with biometric data for each guest, automatically creating meals based on preferences and nutritional requirements

Futuristic Fitness and Digital Detoxes

  • Outswim a virtual sea turtle in the pool, or challenge yourself to climb the digital face of Mount Everest, your exercise routine will be as unique as you are. What’s more, exercise energy generated from workouts will be used to power the hotel, providing a zero-impact, circular system. Guests could even earn rewards based on reaching workout targets
  • Pick up where you left off with trackable workouts and holographic personal trainers
  • Offline will be the new luxury as we seek to find moments of tech-free time

“Since its inception in 1919, Hilton has pioneered the hospitality industry, introducing first-to-market concepts such as air-conditioning and in-room televisions. Last year, Hilton also became the first hospitality company to set science-based targets to reduce its environmental impact,” said Simon Vincent, EVP & President, EMEA, Hilton. “We enter our second century with the same commitment to innovation, harnessing the power of our people and technology to respond to guest demands. Our research paints an exciting future for the hospitality industry, highlighting the growing importance of human interaction in an increasingly tech-centric world.”

Futurologist Gerd Leonhard said: “In 2119 we will still be searching for unique experiences, but they will be more personalised than ever. As technology shapes our lives we will seek out moments of offline connection with others, including hotel team members who will help us truly get what we need from our stays. 100 years from now hotels will have to create opportunities to converse, collaborate and connect, delivering moments that matter, individually, to each and every guest.”

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Gadget ed to chair Digital Council

Specialist financial services provider Sasfin Bank has established a Digital Advisory Council to provide the market with industry-leading expertise and insights on trends shaping the use of technology in financial services.

Digitalisation is one of the most powerful forces for change shaping Finance today. This has turned Fintech into one of the most vibrant sectors in both information technology and among start-ups, generating billions of dollars in investment and development globally. The South African fintech space is dynamic, and Sasfin is playing a leading role in the transformation of local financial services and the resulting enhancement of customer experiences.

“We have been investing in fintech development in-house and acquiring or integrating fintech start-ups,” says Sasfin CEO Michael Sassoon. “Over the last year we have built further digital offerings, integrated via APIs into leading businesses and invested in fintechs. We built and launched B\\YOND, an innovative digital business banking platform and SWIP, a digital wealth and investing platform. We have invested in Payabill, an online SME lender and DMA, a digital trading platform. We recently announced our alliance banking relationship, leveraging open banking, with Hello Paisa to offer seamless banking to the unbanked. We feel that there is a huge opportunity to improve the experience of South African businesses and savers through using technology. We have therefore created an independent forum to assess how to even better improve financial services for South Africans by leveraging the digital economy.”

Arthur Goldstuck, founder of high-tech research consultancy World Wide Worx, editor-in-chief of Gadget, and a globally respected technology analyst has accepted Sasfin’s invitation to head up the Sasfin Digital Advisory Council, an independent think tank that will help Sasfin and its clients decipher the fintech present and future.

“The Sasfin Digital Advisory Council is broader than providing only the bank with a source of insight on how digital services are evolving and lessons from across the world,” said CEO Michael Sassoon. “Sasfin has been involved in fintech investing for many years and we are leveraging this experience as well as the experience of independent experts such as Arthur to provide insights and guidance to interested stakeholders in this space.”

The team appointed to the Digital Advisory Council is being selected for the breadth and range of knowledge they would bring to the table, with further appointments to the Council being announced soon.  There will also be room for the Council to co-opt specialist expertise as it is required.

Goldstuck, who has been covering the fintech sector as an analyst, commentator and columnist for many years, says he sees the role as a welcome challenge.

“There has been a long-standing need for a clear understanding of the impact being made by fintech today, and the exponential change it will cause tomorrow,” said Goldstuck. “My role will be, partly, to curate the wide spectrum of fintech and digitalisation knowledge and insights that the members will bring to the Digital Advisory Council, and help create scenarios that businesses and policymakers may use to navigate the future – both inside and outside Sasfin.”

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