The new range of ultrabooks set to come out in 2013 will have features usually found in smartphones, such as voice recognition, touch support, finger tracking, augmented reality and gesture-based interface. The ultrabooks will feature clip-on sensors that will eventually be integrated into laptops.
The voice recognition feature will be powered by Nuance and will be called Dragon Assistant; it will appear on Dell ultrabooks later this year. The Dell XPS13 Ultrabook will be among the first PCs to ship with Dragon Assistant Beta in Q4 2012.
Dadi Perlmutter, Intel Corporation's Chief Product Officer, demonstrated Dragon Assistant Beta during day-1 of the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. He called on a colleague to demonstrate the voice technology, who then ran through a series of demos ranging from easy to very difficult. He started off by simply saying “Hello Dragon” to awaken Dragon Assistant and proceeded with some complex commands such as: search Amazon for sunglasses, information and shopping; access, discover and play music; check and reply to email; and listen to and update social media statuses.
Intel executive Kirk Skaugen also showed off a new accessory built by SoftKinetics and Creative, which combines a close-range infrared gesture tracking camera and dual microphones. This package will start shipping later this year and will be priced at $149. The camera allows for close range tracking that allows recognition and tracking of hand poses such as the thumbs-up, hand and finger tracking, and hand gestures. Close range tracking can be used for gaming as well as for enhancing productivity.
Bringing innovation to design
To further enhance the innovation in mobile computing, Intel's new low-power chips based on the ‘Haswell’ microarchitecture will broaden the company's mobile roadmap, initially operating at about 10 watts to enable thinner, lighter Ultrabook and convertible tablet designs that will aim at offering better performance and battery life.
Strangely, Intel hasn't yet decided on whether to continue using the Core brand for Haswell; they are in fact even contemplating christening this series of processors with an entirely new brand name. Kirk Skaugen, Vice President and General Manager, PC Client Group, mentioned this in his follow up presentation to the main keynote.
During the opening keynote, Dadi Perlmutter described how its low-power processors, starting with the company's 4th generation Intel Core processor family that will be made available next year, will aim to set a new standard for mobile computing experience and innovative Ultrabook, convertible and tablet designs.
With the release of Windows 8, all the new laptops running the operating system will have touchscreens as standard addition.
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